Friday, July 9, 2021

A Mudlark's Treasures: London in Fragments by Ted Sandling

 

Books like these are why I love ARCs. I end up being exposed to books I never would have thought to pick up for myself. A MUDLARK'S TREASURES is a fascinating memoir/history lesson. Mudlarking used to be a sort of low-class vocation, where people would salvage scrap from the Thames (AKA, London's sewer) for resale. Now, it is a hobby, sort of like a cross between a nature walk and geo-caching. Ted Sandling enjoys wading through the Thames at low-tide and seeing what he can dredge up.

In this short memoir, he details some of his finds and their microhistories. So you learn about the history of the wine bottle, a bit about the Roman occupation of London/Londinium, the usage of snuff and snuff boxes, and all sorts of other fun tidbits of knowledge. I love books like these, where the author's passion carries the narrative forward, and he's such an engaging narrator. Even though the timeline is nonlinear, it's fun to jump back and forth as he talks about what he's found and how it was dated and how it pertains to English history.

If you enjoy history and fun facts and love hearing people ramble on about their unusual hobbies, this will be the perfect book for you.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 out of 5 stars

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