'Tom Chivers, with the forensic eye of an investigator, the soul of a poet, is an engaging presence; a guide we would do well to follow.' Iain Sinclair, author of The Last London
What secrets lie beneath a city?
Tom Chivers follows hidden pathways, explores lost islands and uncovers the geological mysteries that burst up through the pavement and bubble to the surface of our streets. From Roman ruins to a submerged playhouse, from an abandoned Tube station to underground rivers, Chivers leads us on a journey into the depths of the city he loves.
A lyrical interrogation of a capital city, a landscape and our connection to place, London Clay celebrates urban edgelands: in-between spaces where the natural world and the metropolis collide. Through a combination of historical research, vivid reportage and personal memoir, it will transform how you see London, and cities everywhere.
'It's entertaining, enlightening and deeply moving. You will learn something about London and a good deal about life.' Justin Webb
London, investigated through the medium of psycho-geology, is revealed as a nexus of energies, interconnections, memories and resurrections. Tom Chivers, with the forensic eye of an investigator, the soul of a poet, is an engaging presence; a guide we would do well to follow.
We are none of us here for long. Our lives matter hugely and yet in the great scheme of things not at all. This book grapples with our predicament in an entirely original way. It's entertaining, enlightening and deeply moving. You will learn something about London and a good deal about life.
Gentle, all-observant Tom is the perfect guide for this exploration of London's nooks and crannies, places I thought I knew well and places I didn't even know existed. His beguiling mix of history, geology, folklore and memoir captivated me from the first page.
An absorbing and poetic psycho-geology of London ... an immersive deep trawl among the city's many layers, unearthing medieval Essex rebels, contemporary mudlarks of the lower Thames, lost rivers of silt and sewage, the Shard as Sauron's Dark Tower, and the existential angst of living in the Anthropocene epoch ... Fascinating.
Chivers traces London's hidden landscape armed only with his curiosity and a home-made geology map. His poet's knack of sensing unlikely connections makes this one of the most original books about the capital in years. Like Iain Sinclair with a trowel. Spellbinding.