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‘Rag & Bone: A history of what we’ve thrown away’ by Lisa Woollett

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm




Edge of the World Bookshop is hosting an event with Lisa Woollett to discuss her new book “Rag & Bone: A Family History of What We’ve Thrown Away”

About the book

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 finally 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.

Rag and Bone digs deep into the mud of the Thames estuary, and comes up with something compelling and urgent – history told through rubbish. Lisa Woollett is a genuine mudlark, alert and closely attuned to the ways of the intertidal zone. A fascinating book
Philip Marsden

‘A delicious confection of a book, blending history and memoir with thoughts and close observation. I so enjoyed watching shadows of the past flit across Lisa Woollett’s watery pages. It is a timely book, too, when, as Woollett writes, ‘our waste threatens to overwhelm us
Sara Wheeler


About Lisa Woollet

Lisa is a photographer and the author of several award-winning books about the sea – Sea Journal, Sea and Shore Cornwall: common and curious findings and a children’s book Treasure from the Sea. As a work-in-progress, her forthcoming book Rag and Bone (John Murray, June 2020) won the £5000 Royal Society of Literature Giles St Aubyn Award for Non-fiction, previously the RSL Jerwood Prize for Non-fiction. She is a beachcomber, mudlark and collector of found objects.

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