Titanic books {Which ones would you recommend?}

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Kip and I have discussed this offline a bit, but I'd like to ask this question of y'all: what are the major books on Titanic that you'd recommend as additional reading? I was in my local bookstore last weekend, and they had *two racks* filled with Titanic-related books; there were at least 30 different titles there. Some were historical, some related to the recent discovery of the wreck, some were fiction. Which have you enjoyed reading and would recommend to others who want to know more?

ml (who adored the Lord books)

-- Mary Lynne Nielsen (m.nielsen@ieee.org), April 03, 1998


Response to Titanic books

Colonel Archibald Gracie's book "Titanic: A Survivor's Story" w/ Jack Thayer's recollection at the end was a great book. Then I found an editon with stories from Lawrence Beesley, 2nd Officer Lightoller, and Harold Bride as well as Gracie. But it doesn't have Thayer's story, a guy who insisted from the day she went down that she split in half, and probably correctly relates other incidents no one else recalls. The "Titanic Disaster Hearings" transcript of the Senate Investigation was a great eyewitness book.

The Illustrated History by Lynch & Marschall was great, good mix of pictures and the real story.

I'm probably gonna get in trouble for saying this, but Ballard's "Discovery" has good pictures but I wouldn't want to read so many pages about every little detail of his subs, he dragged that out too long, but I guess when a book is titled DiscoverY of the Titanic, it's primarily about the process of and not the final result of finding her.

I bought a few fictional books about the Titanic, but reading them really ticked me off at times. One author has her main characters putting on yellow lifejackets, sheesh! If you're gonna get a book published nowadays it would be nice to be historically accurate. Stick to the Lord books for a good third-person account.


-- Cindy (cindy763@hotmail.com), April 03, 1998.

Hi Cyndy.

I just bought a book titled TITANIC destination desaster (the legends and the reality) I'm only on page 32 but It looks to be very interesting. It has plenty of original pictures plus pictures of the artifacts and some of the discovery pictures. Just the pictures alone I think are worth having the book. Hope this helps........


-- jesse fontes (jestercw@gte.net), April 03, 1998.

"The Titanic: The End of A Dream" by Wyn Craig Wade was very interesting. Much of it is about the U.S. Senate hearing after the sinking. However, I did skip several pages about Smith's life prior to the hearing. Learned things that weren't touched upon in Cameron's movie (i.e. 1/3 of the survivors were crew members).

"A Night to Remember" by Walter Lord is the so-called bible on the Titanic. Very interesting read. The only drawback is the failure to mention the ship's breaking up into two (which of course wasn't determined conclusively at the time of the writing).

-- Bob Gregorio (donthave@sorry.net), April 04, 1998.

Hello again, Mary Lynne!

The **best** thing about Cameron's film has been that it has spurred an explosion of Titanic books, both new and re-releases of books that have been out of print. Last week, the New York Times bestseller lists had **twelve** Titanic-related titles (hard- and softcover). It's a great time to be a student of this story.

If you **really** want to get into the minutae of the Titanic story, here are a couple more books you'll want to check:

"Titanic: End of a Dream" by Wyn C. Wade (Penguin Books, ISBN 0140166912) "The Titanic Disaster Hearings" edited by Tom Kuntz (Pocket Books, ISBN 0671025538)

Both of these books deal mainly with the US Senate investigation into the Titanic accident. "End of a Dream" is in narrative form, and includes a lot of interesting tidbits, such as the fact that the WSL refused to pay for the surviving crew to wire their families in England that they were safe ("too great an expense"), and that Titanic's senior surviving officer, Charles Lightoller, was upset at the thought of being quartered in the same hotel as the crew. I thought it was a good book.

"Disaster Hearings" is an edited version of the actual transcripts of the 1912 Senate hearings conducted by Michigan senator William A. Smith. It requires a little more concentration to get through this one, but you read the survivor's words, unembellished by ghostwriters, in testimony given literally days after the accident. (the **full** transcript is available from the Library of Congress, but it's almost 1,300 pages, and the cost is around $100).

Good Luck!

-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), April 04, 1998.

I read the Titanic Adventure and it was a really exciting book. I learned so much about the Titanic from this book.

-- Jessica Fracek (campevelynlildude@hotmail.com), March 11, 2003.

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