The last word on Titanic tragedy

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Titanic_Robert_Lloyd_s.jpgMy final postscript (for now) on the Titanic arrived today in the post today, in the shape of John Maxtone-Graham’s latest book Titanic Tragedy: A New Look At The Lost Liner.
John_Maxtone-Graham_s.jpgViolet_Jessop_s.jpgBy coincidence, the maritime historian (top left) – described as “the dean” in his publisher’s blurb – arrived in the UK today together with his wife Mary aboard cruise ship Grand Princess which docked at Greenock, on the Clyde, this morning.
There are some fascinating insights within the book’s 235 pages, including rare interviews with survivors. Among them is Violet Jessop (below left), a stewardess whose life at sea continued almost unbroken until 1939 and who attended John’s mother during a crossing on White Star Line’s Majestic in the 1920s. He interviewed her shortly before her death at the age of 83 in 1971, and later did an excellent job of editing her memoirs, published in 1997 as Titanic Survivor.
Violet’s contribution to Titanic Tragedy is among a number of personal stories recalled in the chapter “Survival Sagas.” I am looking forward to exploring more of Maxtone-Graham’s tales – his detailed description of the Ocean Dock at Southampton, the berth where Titanic spent a week before embarking on her maiden voyage – has already whet my appetite.
The book pieces together other aspects of the tragedy such as the role of the wireless operators and the dawn rendezvous with Cunard’s Carpathia, whose captain Arthur Rostron probably deserves more recognition than the KBE and the Congressional Gold Medal he received for his role in picking up 700 survivors from the icy Atlantic.
And the book’s words are not its only delight. The cover (detail above) is from an original painting by maritime artist Robert Lloyd. His work hangs on ships and in boardrooms around the world, but this is the first time he has ever painted Titanic – he was worried that the experts would harangue him if he made even the smallest technical error.
No worries on that score – even the smoke from three of the four funnels looks perfect.
Titanic Tragedy: A New Look At The Lost Liner, by John Maxtone-Graham, published by W.W. Norton & Co., £16.99. Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs of Violet Jessop, edited by John Maxtone-Graham, published in 1998 by Sutton Publishing Ltd., £8.99.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:50+00:00 17 April 2012|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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