Along the River Thames, small strips of sandy beaches can be found, quiet places just a step away from the busy city, and the treasures they hold are slowly being revealed to a small set of people. Today, you need a licence to be a “mudlarker”, but once you just needed to be a child poor enough to scavenge, and the name comes from those desperate Victorian children. Maiklem has been one of the modern day treasure seekers for over 15 years, and she has many stories to fill the pages of this lovely memoir, and finds that the tiniest objects can tell the best stories, while quietly discovering London’s history and secrets in one of it’s more unique edgelands.— Becky Doherty
“Engrossing . . . evokes the subculture of the ‘mudlarks,’ who scour the banks for fragments of London’s past.”—The New Yorker
The international bestseller that mesmerizingly charts quixotic journeys through London’s past, Mudlark thrills Anglophiles and history lovers alike. Long heralded as a city treasure herself, beloved “Mudlark” Lara Maiklem tirelessly treks along the Thames’ muddy shores, unearthing a myriad of artifacts and their stories—from Roman hairpins and perfectly preserved Tudor shoes to the clay pipes that were smoked in riverside taverns. Seamlessly interweaving reflections from her own life with meditations on the art of wandering, Maiklem ultimately delivers a treatise “as deep and as rich as the Thames and its treasures” (Stanley Tucci).