Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem

4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Pretty much everything that humans have made used and thrown away will be here forever. Often these possessions have ended up in middens and now we bury vast quantities of our unwanted stuff in the ground in dumps. If you know where to look these relics from a time long gone can be found, especially along the foreshore of the tidal Thames.

There have been people finding the detritus and treasure alongside the capital’s river for hundreds of years. It has been called the world’s longest archaeological site! The people who look for those discarded and lost items are called mudlarks and for the past fifteen years, Lara Maiklem has walked searching for anything that she can find. The variety of things that she spots is quite astounding, and these tell the story of London going back several thousand years to the Neolithic.

I have been following her via various social media accounts for years now, so nice to read a little more on the subject as well as a little of her own history as to what she finds so addictive about doing it. I really enjoyed this and liked the way each chapter concentrated on different parts of the capital, from Hammersmith, Rotherhithe and right out into the estuary. I found her to be an informative writer who is passionate about her subject and keen to discover more about the objects she finds. If the book has one tiny flaw, it is that there are very few pictures of her finds. I know she has an Instagram account (here) that is linked to the book, but I am not on Instagram so couldn’t see them.

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2 Comments

  1. Liz Dexter

    How interesting that you’d already been following her exploits; that must have made the book extra-special. I agree on the lack of pictures and even though I have Instagram, haven’t made it to her feed yet!

    • Paul

      A friend used to Mudlark years ago, which is why I had heard of it. It didn’t need many, just four or five pages in the middle of the book.

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