The paperback uncovers the history of the picturesque river, drawing from the works of literary greats such as Renaissance poet laureate Edmund Spenser, Defoe and even Shakespeare to bring its timeless beauty to life. It also charts the river’s position from Aylesbury to Chearsley, Cuddington to Dorchester, and of course includes a chapter on the market town which took its name.
Originally from Kent, Mr Chaplin, who is manager of the John Radcliffe Hospital’s Cellular Pathology Department, moved to Thame 52 years ago when his father become head master at The Wenman.
He said: “Some time ago I was fascinated to find that some of the 17th century poets and writers wrote about the Thame, giving it prominence at that time.
“Once you start digging around you find other things to follow up. I have written quite a few articles within the medical and scientific press and I do enjoy writing. I attended Lord Williams’s School when it was a grammar school, so was interested to find out a lot more about how the school come about. There is also a section on red kites. I like bird watching so was interested to track the history of red kites and see how and where they are mentioned in literature.”
Aside from information on curious characters and buildings which have shaped the river’s history, and inhabitants including anglers who spend much of their lives on its banks, the book also makes reference to more recent events including floods and the well loved Ickford vs Tiddington tug of war.
Mr Chaplin added: “I hope people enjoy the book and that it stimulates them to enjoy the river and go and see some of the places I have mentioned for themselves.
“Even though it is only small, the Thame is an enchanting river.”