The great novelist, journalist and social commentator Charles Dickens (1812-1870) managed to write about most things during his long career. London's river, port and seafaring connections appear often in his works.
So many passages could be mentioned: his vivid description of Jacob's Island in Bermondsey in Oliver Twist, his depiction of the Thames and those that earned a living from the river in Our Mutual Friend, or his factual but highly personal observations on Whitechapel and Shadwell in The Uncommercial Traveller.
To do full justice to Dickens would require an entire website, so here is a very small sample.
As the Steam Boat Pier
In his novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1843), Dickens described the steamboats at the London Bridge Steam Wharf.
Little steam-boats dashed up and down the river incessantly. Tiers upon tiers of vessles, scores of masts, labyrinths of tackle, idle sails, splashing oars, gliding row-boats, lumbering barges, sunken piles, with ugly lodgings for the water-rat within their mud-discoloured nooks; church steeples, warehouses, house-roofs, arches, bridges, men and women, casks, cranes, boxes, horses, coaches, idlers, and hard-labourers:
Externally, it was a narrow lopsided wooden jumble of corpulent windows heaped one upon another as you might heap as many toppling oranges, with a crazy wooden verandah impending over the water; indeed the whole house, inclusive of the complaining
flag-staff on the roof, impended over the water...