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Mudlarking

Narrated by: Lara Maiklem
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (591 ratings)

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Summary

Mudlark (/'mAdla;k/) noun A person who scavenges for usable debris in the mud of a river or harbour.

Lara Maiklem has scoured the banks of the Thames for over 15 years, in pursuit of the objects that the river unearths: from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, medieval buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to Victorian toys. 

These objects tell her about London and its lost ways of life. Moving from the river's tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it meets the sea in the east, Mudlarking is a search for urban solitude and history on the River Thames, what Lara calls 'the longest archaeological site in the world'.

©2018 Lara Maiklem (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly fascinating insight into lost London

I spotted this in Foyles bookshop on the Southbank in London yesterday and had to download it, it caught my eye after the serendipity of having seen some mudlarkers on Bankside as I walked along the Thames just half an hour earlier. This was an unexpectedly engaging and interesting read. Could easily have devoured more and would now love to see an exhibit of finds from across the ages.

28 people found this helpful

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Read like a Novel.

Beautifully read. Simple down to earth descriptions and a voice that made it such a pleasure to listen to. I felt Ms Maiklem's romantic ghosts speaking from the depths, every character coming alive. It was, in places, more like a novel. I felt so much nostalgic longing for London listening every day. I don't believe I could have enjoyed this book more if I had read it myself.

26 people found this helpful

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An alternative view of the Thames

The term Mudlarker began to be used within the 18th and 19th Century and is a title given to Londoners who spend their time searching for items within the mud and muck which makes up the Thames shore lines. This book is divided into the various different sections of the Thames and describes one woman’s search for items of interest, what she has found and her dreams / imaginings of their individual owners.

I had been unsure as to what to expect from this book and I had purchased largely upon the many glowing reviews which I had read; I have not been disappointed!

At various points Lara Maiklem will discuss each find no matter how small or seemingly insignificant in detail. For example handmade pins. She may discuss the cleaning operation which can be painstaking, but for me the part I love is her dreams around the potential owners and their lives. As a person with a deep interest in history and a fellow daydreamer these small snippets were beautiful.

Throughout the book Lara Maiklem will use her knowledge of London and painstaking research into different historical periods to discuss London’s Thames through the ages and how society have altered. However this is more than just a book about history, this is also a book of how Lara Maiklem found ‘herself’.

The book sings with Lara Maiklem’s passion for this occupation and it was delight to listen to her calm and enthusiastic tones while I driving or completing some other mundane tasks. A gorgeous book, one I will likely go back for another listen and would recommend others to give it a go!

16 people found this helpful

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A book about a very interesting subject.

I had been excitedly waiting for this book as I had heard good things about it. The writing is very good and I loved the information in it.

The drawback is the narration. The voice is very clear and diction excellent BUT its the lack of inflection makes it boring. No enthusiasm just a flat reading. It has been a struggle to listen to.

30 people found this helpful

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A truly remarkable book.

Lara immerses the reader with her amazing passion for ‘mudlarking’ an activity which has clearly become a central part of her life. I was swept along by the history, the world hidden on the foreshores of the tidal river Thames. Fascinating first hand accounts and meticulously researched and I felt beautifully read. I was engrossed and enraptured by the reading of this remarkable and truly unique book about her accounts over the years, arresting and gory at times. Now I am fascinated by this subject!

14 people found this helpful

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Loved it

I felt like a mudlarker- wondering what was going to be revealed next; so successful as a tale and as a fascinating account of history.

14 people found this helpful

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Stunning

Poetic, interesting, beautiful, riveting. I could listen to this for the rest of my life. Loved it.

11 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!

I couldn’t stop listening to this audio book. Lara’s narration was just perfect combining historical facts with the excitement of her finds.
Thank you!

11 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

If you love London don’t miss this. Atmospheric, inspiring and redolent of London’s past. A wonderful listening experience.

7 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful Journey

Absolutely Brilliant. I went on a trip along with Lara and enjoyed every moment of it. P. Knight

7 people found this helpful