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Peter Ackroyd's Thames

Peter Ackroyd's Thames

4 Episodes

It is one of the world s most famous rivers and the reason that London exists. Author Peter Ackroyd introduces the River Thames a symbol of eternity, in its unending cycle of movement and change. To him, it is a sacred river with fascinating history that tells the story of England itself and in this fascinating series he looks at the Thames in all its moods, meets the people who have grown up on its banks, and finds out how painters, poets, writers, and musicians have portrayed it down the centuries. His journey takes him from the source of the river, deep on the English countryside, to the mysterious place where it meets the open sea.

Peter Ackroyd's Thames
  • Liquid History

    Episode 1

    The celebrated author explores the course of the river, meeting people whose lives are interlinked with it and discovering how painters, writers and musicians have responded to it through the ages. He begins by establishing the disputed source and talks to archaeologists digging for treasure in t...

  • The Theatre of Water

    Episode 2

    The author explores the work of artists Turner and Whistler and meets photographer Harry Cory Wright. He also attempts to capture the Thames at dawn using a Victorian glass-plate camera and turn the piece into a work of art.

  • Work and Leisure

    Episode 3

    The author tells the story of the London docks of the 18th and 19th century and how they handled the trade of the world. He also travels upriver to quieter waters where Londoners once spent their holidays.

  • A Special Relationship

    Episode 4

    The journey ends with a look at noted writers, including John Milton, Alexander Pope, Charles Dickens and Kenneth Grahame, who are thought to have had a special relationship with the river. The presenter also visits the wild and desolate estuary, where ships head for the open sea. Last in the ser...