Rag and Bone

by Lisa Woollett


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Fascinating and timely

About this book:

Rag and Bone: A Family History of What We Throw Away

From relics of Georgian empire-building and slave-trading, through Victorian London’s barged-out refuse to 1980s fly-tipping and the pervasiveness of present-day plastics, Rag and Bone traces the story of our rubbish, and, through it, our history of consumption.

In a series of beachcombing and mudlarking walks – beginning in the Thames in central London, then out to the Kentish estuary and eventually the sea around Cornwall – Lisa Woollett also tells the story of her family, a number of whom made their living from London’s waste, and who made a similar journey downriver from the centre of the city to the sea.

A beautifully written but urgent mixture of social history, family memoir and nature writing, Rag and Bone is a book about what we can learn from what we’ve thrown away – and a call to think more about what we leave behind.


‘Gloriously and richly strange: a portrait of what we were and what we might become’
Philip Hoare

‘Rag and Bone digs deep into the mud of the Thames Estuary, and comes up with something compelling and urgent – history told through rubbish… A fascinating book’
Philip Marsden

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