Titan of the Thames

By Sandy Nairne and Peter Williams

The first biography of Lord Desborough, a towering figure of early 20th century public life.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Katherine Grainger steps on board

We are delighted that Dame Katherine Grainger has agreed to contribute a Foreword to Titan of the Thames, our forthcoming life of Lord Desborough.


[photograph courtesy University of Glasgow]

Katherine is a five-times Olympian and gold medalist in rowing and now Chancellor of the University of Glasgow and Chair of UK Sport. She is therefore well placed to introduce the life and legacy of Lord Desborough, organiser of the first London Olympic Games in 1908, a fine oarsman, racing punter and fencer, and a devoted public servant.


Commenting on Lord Desborough, she said, 'Here is an outstanding figure who deserves to be better known. I know that readers of Titan of the Thames will be intrigued by the story of his life and inspired by his achievements on the river, his sporting successes and his commitment to wider participation.'

In 2018 Katherine Grainger attended the National Punting Championships, taking place on the Thames in her home town of Maidenhead. On that occasion she described the 135 year-old sport of racing punting as 'incredibly technical, and very tricky, but fabulous'.


We are very grateful to all who have already signed up as supporters of the book. As the project approaches 50% of its target funding, we hope that Katherine's support will help generate further interest. Do help us to spread the word.

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