Tales of the Thames
Saturday 19 May (This event has passed)
In collaboration with Somerset House’s writer in residence, Frances Wilson, and Professor Jerry White, one of the world’s leading experts on the history of the Thames, Tales of the Thames brought together a host of writers and historians for a one-off event on 19 May ahead of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Andrew Motion, Dan Cruickshank and other great authors delved deep into the riveting history of the capital’s waterway.
Andrew Motion opened the day with a reading from his new children’s book Silver and discussed how the capital’s waterway has been a source of inspiration for scores of storytellers over the centuries.
> Find out more about Andrew Motion on his website
Architectural guru Dan Cruickshank introduced the magnificent bridges, both long gone and still standing, which connect the South of the city to the North and have defined the capital, making it a city of great commercial and political power.
Susan Brigden guided the audience on an imaginary trip down the Thames, exploring some of the most dramatic events of the sixteenth century and Tudor terror on the Thames.
Award-winning Dickens biographer Robert Douglas-Fairhurst told us about the summer of 1858, the year in which London's population held its breath, and also held its nose, and how Victorian Londoners transformed the river after ‘The Great Stink’.
The day closed with a performance piece by Iain Sinclair, based on a voyage by swan pedalo from Hastings to Hackney. Female vocalist MacGillivray brought the journey to life with live songs.
> Find out more about Iain Sinclair on his website