Thames, for ships and swans is crowned

I really enjoy ‘The Rivers of London’ series of books by Ben Aaronovitch. He has written five about the adventures of PC Peter Grant,  and there is a sixth in the pipeline too, The Hanging Tree, due to be released in November this year. Have a police constable as the main character, gives the idea of a crime novel, but these are crime novels with a difference… not quite supernatural, not quite fantasy, not quite like anything I’ve ever read before. Gripping, intriguing, hilarious, exciting, mystifying, puzzling, gripping, did I say gripping?

Some of the characters in these novels are actually rivers of London. I thought of this when i came across this sonnet by Michael Drayton, published in 1594 although it only mentions the Thames among other rivers:

Our floods’ queen, Thames, for ships and swans is crowned,
And stately Severn for her shore is praised;
The crystal Trent for fords and fish renowned,
And Avon’s fame to Albion’s cliffs is raised;
Carlegion Chester vaunts her holy Dee;
York many wonders of her Ouse can tell,
The Peak her Dove, whose banks so fertile be,
And Kent will say her Medway doth excel;
Cotswold commends her Isis to the Tame;
Our northern borders boast of Tweed’s fair flood;
Our western parts extol their Wylye’s fame,
And the old Lea brags of the Danish blood;
Arden’s sweet Anker, let thy glory be
That fair Idea only lives by thee.

Here’s an interesting page about maps of the Thames:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2015/mar/18/rivers-london-map-stephen-walter-cartographer-artist

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