Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Give two reasons why Reading is considered a famous place?chap 16

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As the men approach Reading, J. describes several important historical events that happened there. Starting in the 17th century, it became a popular destination for Londoners fleeing the plague. However, it is now crowded and polluted, so the men pass through it quickly. Jerome also adds that,

The Danes anchored their warships in the Kennet, and started from Reading to ravage all the land of Wessex; and here Ethelred and his brother Alfred fought and defeated them, Ethelred doing the praying and Alfred the fighting.