Many books have been written about the River Thames, some of them devoted to bridges, but not one has been specifically devoted to ferries on the river, until now. In her first of two volumes on the subject, Joan Tucker takes us on a journey down the Royal Thames from Staines to Yantlet Creek, near Gravesend. She tells the story of each ferry, most now replaced by bridges, including those that have appeared in more recent years as well as long-established routes such as the Woolwich Ferry. The story of the ferries is linked in with that of the Watermen, the ferry-boat operators, as well as that of some of England's engineering marvels, such as the tunnels that substituted the ferries on some routes. 'There is a lingering charm about these watery ways that makes them far preferable to a rigid bridge, and a certain spice of adventure is always possible to the ferry-farer,' wrote an unknown journalist in the West London Sketcher Magazine of 1888-89. He or she also wrote that 'Ferries of the Thames are worthy of a volume to themselves'. Over 120 years since they wrote those words, a volume deserving of the rich history of the ferries has indeed been written.