The Way to the Sea

Caroline Crampton's acclaimed debut non-fiction book was published in the UK in 2019.

The Way to the Sea: the Forgotten Histories of the Thames Estuary is a journey down the river Thames from source to sea, with a particular focus on the often-overlooked landscape of the estuary. It’s also a memoir about Caroline's family and their unusual arrival in Britain, as well as her childhood growing up sailing on the outer Thames. The book aims to provide a deeper understanding of the Thames estuary, of its history, politics, literature and art, and of what its future might hold as the way places are valued and preserved changes.

There are extracts of the book available to read in Granta magazine and from the i newspaper and a profile of Caroline was published in the Guardian to mark publication.

The book was widely and positively reviewed in the press — see some extracts below.

“Crampton’s account of her lifelong relationship with this storied waterway is as elegant and sinuous as the river she loves”
The Economist

“You won’t find a more elegantly written guide to this strange, little regarded and generally unloved section of the British landscape”
Christopher Hart in the Literary Review

“Crampton writes beautifully of the area’s charms. Her first-hand knowledge of navigating the river gives the book a descriptive power that brings the whole area superbly to life.”
Ian Critchley in the Sunday Times

“Caroline Crampton is a child of the estuary, and the book is her praise-hymn to the muddy, marshy far reaches of a river that is often seen only as a backdrop to the great buildings of Oxford and London.”
Rose George in the New Statesman

“Caroline Crampton’s atmospheric and movingly written exploration of the Thames, and that once-industrial estuary, is especially illuminating on the soul of the river”
Sinclair McKay in the Spectator

“It’s a wise, fascinating and informative exploration of [the estuary’s] history, geography and literature”
Rebecca Armstrong in the i newspaper

“She writes movingly, sometimes with flecks of nostalgia or melancholy, but ultimately her book is a rallying call for greater appreciation of the maligned and overlooked.”
William Moore in the Evening Standard

“A thoughtful, beautifully written appreciation”
– Yachting Monthly magazine

“Lyrically-written. . . This book was a treat”
– Marsali Taylor in Practical Boat Owner magazine

If you would like to get in touch with Caroline about this book, please use the contact information here.

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