It all started with a book, this book. My uncle, serving in the Navy, sent me this book, and I was hooked. I was fascinated by the stories of the Titanic. I liked the Titanic before it was cool to like the Titanic... before Leonardo!
The message about society as a whole is an intriguing one. Have we learned from the mistakes of the past? Our own human arrogance? Not likely. The Titanic was a tragedy that happened because of so many elements.
Exploration of the underwater gravesite was big news when I as in elementary school. I bought books and learned what I could. Titanic is now at the 100 mark! I have seen another good selection of books that I may have to pick up and take a break from my ancient history studies so I can dive into them. So keep your eyes out. You just may find something to spark your curiosity this year!
Check this out from Yahoo! Some fun facts and links.
I found this book at a used book store about 15 years ago I believe. In honor of the 100 year anniversary, I dived into the narrative. Here is my review. There are newer editions available, and it is an interesting read which lets you into the mindset of the times and instant reactions to the tragedy named Titanic.
A beautifully told piece of history. The first chapter opens the book with a poetic and thoughtful tale of how man tried to conquer the elements only to be brought down by their arrogance. It
was such a lovely narrative, I read it a couple times over. The book throws most of the blame of the tragedy on commercial greed in that proper safety precautions (eg enough lifeboats) were
What is interesting to note is that Titanic actually carried a couple more lifeboats that was standard to that class of ship. In fact, the designer, Thomas Andrews, wanted to put enough lifeboats on the ship for every passenger, but the White Star line did not want that many boats cluttering the decks. In fact, the ship designer and the rest of the "guarantee group" who were on the fatal voyage and went down with the ship are only a passing whisper in the book, which is sad as they were the ones who put Titanic together and helped save many lives when the ship was sinking.
The book mourns the loss of so many innocent lives due to the god of greed and cries to action law-enforced safeguards to prevent another such tragedy. It was interesting to read this as there is still so much corporate corruption and greed now-a-days... 100 years later money is still the root of evil and neglect. There is also a lot of blame and investigation into the speed the boat was traveling and cries out against man's need to break speed records and constantly move at a faster pace. Oh if they could see us now!
Another interesting tidbit is how there was not a spyglass for the lookouts to use. During the hearings regarding the disaster, the lack of spyglasses was brought up. Apparently the crew asked for a spy glass when they arrived in Southampton only to be told there were none, an item which could have helped the lookout spot the ice berg considerably sooner.
The stories of the survivors are not incredibly in depth, but they are the best part of the book. Some interesting notes were how one survivor noted that the air felt considerably colder shortly before the ice berg came into view. There were a few stories about Capt. Smith and how he swam out to a lifeboat to put a baby into its cargo of saved lives but then swam back to the doomed ship to fulfill his duty. Its the survivors who are most important to this tale -- the stories of living again! It makes this tragedy personal in hearing how they coped with such horror. Reading about how men would go down with the ship and then surface back up and were able to find a place to get out of the water before they were picked up. Wow... imagine.
Everything about this book is fascinating, if not always incredibly accurate. But its a piece of time. Its the inquiries, reactions, personal stories, ship facts, etc. Its a delight to have experienced this book.
Breathe in this quote: "It is the crystal king of the emerald waters, the 'ghostly sentinal of the banks,' mantled with mist and arrayed in long robes of cloudy fog, a mountain of ice journeying southward, which claims the right of way and disputes the supremacy of the gallant ship... The trident of Neptune was triumphant." -- From a memorial service to the fallen victims.
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse