London River

London River

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London River by Henry Major Tomlinson

Published:

1921

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London River

By

3
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

dmit, which others should not be expected to see, and if they looked for it now might not discover, for it is possible that it has vanished, like the old tavern. It is easy to persuade ourselves that a matter is made plain by the light in which we prefer to see it, for it is our light.

One day, I remember, a boy had to take a sheaf of documents to a vessel loading in the London Dock. She was sailing that tide. It was a hot July noon. It is unlucky to send a boy, who is marked by all the omens for a City prisoner, to that dock, for it is one of the best of its kind. He had not been there before. There was an astonishing vista, once inside the gates, of sherry butts and port casks. On the flagstones were pools of wine lees. There was an unforgettable smell. It was of wine, spices, oakum, wool, and hides. The sun made it worse, but the boy, I think, preferred it strong. After wandering along many old quays, and through the openings of dark sheds that, on so sunny a day, were stored with cool night and cub

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Generally, a collection of vignettes having to do with shipping on the Thames in the very last days of sail and early days of steam.

The author was evidently very highly regarded as a prose stylist, but to this reader it's like eating rocks.

Maybe a professor of English literature could better explicate why Tomlinson's oeuvre should be appreciated.