Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy

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9780393036978: Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy

First published in 1986, revised and expanded in 1995, this book has been called "the definitive history" of the Titanic.

Continuing interest in the ill-fated vessel has been heightened in recent years by the dramatic events including the discovery of the wreck, new speculation on the Californian's failure to rescue the Titanic, and the recovery of artifacts from the disaster site. All are chronicled in a new chapter which, with a section of completely up-to-date color photographs, makes this edition a must.

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Review:

Originally written in 1986 in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy was issued in a second edition in 1994, after the authors got a chance to explore the wreckage. They added some haunting color photographs and extra text in which they muse on the emotional impact of what they call the "artefacts" retrieved: an ivory hairbrush with hair caught in its bristles, a legible newspaper, and a business card with a phone number scribbled in pencil on the back. In its boxy photographic layout and sober prose, the book feels like a historic artifact itself. The authors scrupulously avoid any trace of modern hype, letting the quietly stated facts speak for themselves: the ship was the largest moving manmade object of its day; on the proud clock in the grand first-class entryway, the allegorical figure of Time was flanked by Honour and Glory; one intrepid old lady saved fellow passengers by locating them in the waves with the flashlight built into her cane. "With more than 1500 still on board," the authors write, "and just 47 available spaces in collapsible [lifeboat] D, [Officer] Lightoller instructs the crew to lock arms and form a circle around the boat. Only women and children are permitted to pass through that circle." This book gives a sense of what it might have been like to enter that circle--or be excluded.

From the Back Cover:

Eight decades after the sinking of the Titanic, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, the public's fascination with the ship, the tragedy and its mysterious aftermath remains as strong as ever. The new edition of this highly respected book offers a comprehensive chronicle of the entire saga, from the liner's design as the supposedly safest vessel afloat, through her maiden voyage carrying the social, artistic and financial elite of two continents, and her sinking in the early hours of 15 April 1912. It continues up to the discovery of the wreck in 1985, the controversy surrounding the recovering of artifacts from the vessel and an account of their conservation and preservation. John Eaton and Charles Haas, two renowned Titanic experts, have themselves dived down to the wreck. Their exclusive seabed photographs form the basis of a new and fascinating color section. Also featured in this updated and expanded edition is an additional chapter covering the 1985 discovery, the 1986 crewed exploration, the 1987 artifact recovery, the 1991 cinematic expedition, and the 1993 research and recovery expedition. Coverage of the 1992 British Ministry of Transport's reassessment of evidence dealing with the Californian, together with the most detailed passenger list yet published, further enhance the book's acclaimed comprehensiveness. The Titanic was one of the best photographed vessels of all time. Here is an astonishingly thorough pictorial record of her brief existence. Beginning with her conception, more than a thousand photographs and artists' impressions cover her construction and launching, her fitting-out and trials, preparations for her maiden passenger-carrying voyage, her departure fromSouthampton and arrival at Cherbourg, her voyage to Queenstown, and the drama of her final disaster after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, and the aftermath through to the present day. There are photos of her designers and builders, her passengers and crew, and of other vessels in her vicinity when she sank, including the Carpathia and the Californian. Also featured are astonishing pictures of the wreck two and a half miles beneath the sea. There are sections on the American and British inquiries and on the world's memorials to the Titanic and her people.

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