Caroline Crampton

The watery life of the capital

To write about London and its rivers is to enter a crowded literary field. Many aspects of watery life in the capital have been documented for public consumption over the past 150 years, from Hilaire Belloc’s lament for the river’s lost monasteries in The Historic Thames to Peter Ackroyd’s doorstop, London: A Biography. More recently,

One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure

All it takes to turn a cast-off into a prized possession can be a bit of imagination. To a passerby, a bookcase left on the pavement might be perfect for that impossible-to-furnish alcove. An empty bottle, once the waves have worn it smooth, could become a precious jewel for a beachcomber. In an instant a

A late winged victory

At first glance, the 17th-century natural historian Francis Willughby is an ideal subject for a biography. He lived in interesting times, as the adage goes. He was born in 1635, seven years before the start of the English civil war, and after a youth spent under Cromwell’s rule, came of age as the monarchy was