Originally published in 1800, this work details what life was like on the Upper Thames before the 20th century. The following passage is an extract from the first volume of this publication:
'Encouraged by the very favorable reception which the public has given to a Picturesque illustration of a Tour on the Continent, the author of this work has been induced to gratify a wish long since formed, of attempting to display the rich scenery of his own country, a country where nature and art are so happily combined, as to adorn and fertilize even its remotest parts, and to have not only afforded the means of happiness, but added luxury to the enjoyments of a great people.
Upon entering into such a discussion, the object that naturally first engages our attention is the river Thames, a scene of industry, and a source of oppulence, to which we owe so much both in convenience, salubrity, and every relative blessing that can add to the greatness of the first commercial city in the world. - Indeed it is rather matter of surprise, amidst the numerous publications on the fub- je6l of pi6lurefque scenery, which have lately employed the pen and pencil of our writers and artists, that so leading and capital a feature in landscape (should not have caught the eye, and have preoccupied the powers of some one, perhaps, better (killed in description, though not less ardent in admiration of its pi6lurefque beauties.'
The River Thames takes its name from the Middle English Temese, which is derived from the Celtic name for river. Originating at the Thames Head in Gloucestershire, it is the longest river in England, flowing a total length of 236 miles, out through the Thames Estuary and in to the North Sea. On its journey to open water it passes through the country's capital, London, where it is deep enough to be navigable for ships, thus allowing the city to become a major international trade port.