Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys


This little book (5 1/2 " wide x 6 1/2 " tall x 1 " thick) is a real gem. Its the story of the the 40 times that the Thames River frozen over upstream from the London Bridge, in England.
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That the river froze is factual, some of the stories that accompany a given year are also based on fact and others are fanciful. That did not diminish my enjoyment of this book.
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There were several years that stuck in my mind:
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The author tells us that Bess employed workmen to continuously build on her house as a fortune teller had foretold that she would die if the work stopped. Apparently it was so cold in 1608 that the mortar would not set and thus building stopped.
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A significant moment in history worth noting.
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Empress Anna ordered an ice palace constructed in Russia. This task was again undertaken in Saint Petersburg in 2006.
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This is not a 'meat and potatoes' kind of book that you can really set into reading. Rather its like that bowl of tiny after dinner mints; you can read one story and walk away, come back later for a couple of stories and then leave a few in the bowl for the next day.
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I do wish that there had been included a map of the Thames River with the mentioned locations, including the old and current London Bridge.

2 comments:

Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for the review! This one is on my TBR.

sparkle jars said...

I'm sure enjoying reading your book reviews and will take a list of suggestions to the library. :-)