Estuary: Out from London to the Sea by Rachel Lichtenstein - review by Tom Fort

Tom Fort

Current Affairs

Estuary: Out from London to the Sea


Hamish Hamilton 328pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

It is the nature of estuaries to be deeply mysterious and very hard to know. Taking from both the river and the sea, they belong to neither. They form their own world in which fresh and salt water are forever churning. The dry land with its human settlements contains the estuary, but its essence is the endlessly moving water, the shifting sandbanks and mud banks, the channels, the tearing currents.

It follows that to tell the story of any estuary successfully requires a kind of spiritual immersion, the slow acquisition of knowledge derived from extended exposure and some kind of close identification. In the case of the Thames Estuary, geographically vast and historically rich to a phenomenal degree,

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