The Great Flood: Edward Platt and Ken Worpole

Henham Park Barns

16/11/2019 11:45 - 12:30

Suffolk is no stranger to the challenge of the tides: its coastline is one of the most erosion-receptive in the UK, and it was hit as hard as anywhere by the almost legendary 1953 inundation. But let's not think any of this is purely historical. In Edward Platt's always acute and incisive new book, The Great Flood, the award-winning investigative writer of Leadville takes as his point of departure the record-breaking waters of 2013-14. Travelling the country, and with a significant focus on the eastern regions, he brings a textured and layered response to the realities we will increasingly be facing. He is joined by the engaged cultural and social historian Ken Worpole, who has written extensively on Eastern England and also on the 1953 disaster.


Edward Platt was born in 1968 and lives in London. He won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award for his first book, Leadville (2000), a ‘biography’ of the A40 in west London. His second critically acclaimed book, The City of Abraham (2012), was a history of Hebron, and an account of the mythic origins of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The Great Flood: Travels through a Sodden Landscape will be published by Picador in 2019.  He is a regular contributor to various magazines and newspapers, including the New Statesman.


Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. He is married to photographer Larraine Worpole with whom he has collaborated on book projects internationally, as well as in Hackney, London, where they have lived and worked since 1969.

In recent years his work has focused on contemporary landscape aesthetics and working with architects and garden designers on the creation of new forms of residential settlements for an ageing population. Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University, and has served on the UK government’s Urban Green Spaces Task Force, on the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as an adviser to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.”
The Independent