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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1999
This is a very good book about the Titanic for several reasons. First, the illustrations are varied, numerous, and very interesting--and they are printed on high-quality glossy paper which is pleasant to the eyes and the hands. Second, the information is thorough without being repetitive. Third, the writing is professional and eloquent yet extremely easy and quick to read, very unencumbered by a verbose or dry style. This is a very good all-around book about the Titanic--thorough, entertaining, bittersweet.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 1998
Though this book precedes the blockbuster movie by about two years, this book, and its amazing paintings by Ken Marschall, put you right in the middle of the building, sailing and tragic sinking of the behemoth Titanic.
Don Lynch's descriptions of life onboard Titanic during those last tragic hours brings to life the events unfolding after the collision with the iceberg. But it is the additional history, describing the onset of the age of the great ocean liners, through the investigation of the tragedy, which really bring the whole story to light.
The push to builds faster, bigger liners, the competition between White Star and its main rival, the Cunard Line, the great shipyard at Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders-these are the tales of prehistory which led to the construction, and quite possibly the sinking, of the great ship. It is all presented here in its glorious detail, giving you an understanding of why Titanic was built-and why such mistakes as the horrific l! ack of lifebouts ever occurred as they did. Even the sister ships Britannic and Olympic are given their due.
But three things stand out in this tome. First is the way author Lynch brings the human stories-the sacrifices of the Strauss's, the efforts of the officers and wireless crew, the survivors about the rescue ship Carpathia-to a somber and sobering detail. This book gives you insights into stories which the movie only shows as coincidental scenes amidst the fictional love story.
Next, the book shows what happened after the sinking; the waiting of the families, the inquiry, the rules put in place due to the disaster. These give you the aftermath; beyond just landing in New York, lingering in the pain of the survivors and families. The loss of the entire Goodwin family is especially disturbing, as are the graphs showing the percentages of deaths as organized by class,
Lastly, it is the images, particularly Ken Marschall's depictions of the Titanic in its splendor ! and sinking which bring a lifelike quality to the story. W! hether it is a fold-out diagram of the entire ship, bow-to-stern, or Marschall's eerie views of the sunken ship. discovered by Robert D. Ballard (whose foward opens the book and famed expedition closes it) these make the reader think one is in the midst of a time warp from the early 1900's through present day. They give the real faces to the tragedy.
For all of the heart-wrenching emotion of the movie, "Titanic: An Illustrated History" is truly the companion volume for those who want the complete story. Put them together, and you will believe just how real this tragedy was.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2002
Donald Lynch and Ken Marschall are considered two of the world's foremost experts on Titanic history. While Lynch is more the historian, Marschall's talents also lie in his magnificent maritime artwork. These men are so good and know their subject so well, that director James Cameron used both as consultants on his movie "Titanic," even to calling them in the middle of the night! Lynch even made a cameo in the film (the first class dad watching his son spinning a top). Both say to this day that they still refer to the movie set as "Titanic" and not "the set" because the details were so exact it was like being on board her in reality. I have met both Lynch and Marschall twice at Titanic Historical Society conventions, and they definitely know their subject as is revealed in this book. (Thanks to Lynch, I became interested in the black family who travelled second class. Now THERE'S a fact Cameron regretted he didn't get to use because he knew critics unfamiliar with Titanic history would have ignorantly screamed "That never happened.")
We not only find details of the White Star Line and the famous ship's history -- from her design as one of the three "Olympic" sisters (Olympic, Titanic, Britannic), but the few photographs taken on-board; charts; deck plans; and numerous anecdotes. But often, it is Marschall's recreations in his wonderful artwork that will take your breath away, especially when read alongside Lynch's narrative. To see paintings of her slowly sinking into the Atlantic; the details of her stern high in the air and the sight of tiny figures throwing themselves into the icy water; even his art based on Dr. Robert Ballard's photographs of the wreck site...you would have to be heartless to not be affected by these. To also read the words of many of those few hundred who survived is particularly touching, especially as they watched Titanic go down, most with loved ones still on-board. This is a wonderful book for anyone who -- like me -- fell in love with her at some point in their lives, whether as a child or thanks to Cameron's movie. This book -- along with Marschall's own "Art of Titanic" (which includes work he even did as a young boy) -- will make great additions to your collection of the real life of the true "ship of dreams" and all who were touched by her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2000
I bought this book for my daughter who is a history buff, and man, was I ever glad that I did. Simply put, this just is an excellent book.
The illustrations by Ken Marschall are absolutely amazing. Hands down, they are the best that I have ever seen in regards to the Titanic. His use of color is so extraordinary that sometimes I seriously had to take a second look to make sure that it was not a photograph.
The writing is also quite good. Don Lynch gives heroic voices to the crew of the ship, something that was missed in the smash hit movie. His language is very candid, and it allows you to feel as if you are actually there experiencing the voyage.
This book is, by far, the most descriptive and informative recap of the story of the Titanic. It is one magnificent journey and a terrific book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2004
This is an excellent coffee table book for The Titaniac. A nice brief segmented history as well. Quite a neat foldout of a cut-away of The RMS Titanic. One could not go wrong with this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 1998
This book has so much detail to it, that at times it's almost overwhelming! The pictures that come with it are also very colorful and detailed. I loved the pull out cross section poster of the Titanic; I found it very interesting to look through and read about all the sections of the ship. This is a great book and I suggest it to all that enjoy reading and knowing about the Titanic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 1998
I looked through maybe 50 books on the Titanic, and thoroughly examined them too. But this book beat them all by a long shot. Ken Marshall's spectacular artwork, and a magnificent job of telling the story, dealing with every aspect from construction to discovery. If you are looking for the "real" Titanic book you've found it, Titanic: An Illustrated History
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 1998
Whistles, noise, crowds. Everyone is gathered to watch the most powerful, enormous constructions ever made by man go out into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
-"Did you here?" cries out a lady named Nellie Becker.
-"John Jacob Astor is going to be on the ship!. He's one of the richest men on earth!"

This is the type of information this well organized, and recourceful book gives to it's readers. From the various reasons people weren't able to embarque on the ship, to how many people were saved. From which class they were, and if they were man or woman. All the different aspects of everything that occured from day one. The first keel plate laid for the Titanic which supposedly God himself could not sink. To the aftershock of the survivors, and dreadful deaths of the honored souls who gracefully parted with the earth on April 15th, 1912...

Even though the pictures, and strength of the dream cruise seemed to good to end with such tragedy, we were all baffled, and obviously proved otherwise. This is another characteristic of this legendary book, it really gives you a feeling that just takes you away, and brings you into the life of this time, with these people. And the most overpowering feeling is when you finish reading, and looking at all the depicting photographs. You just have to stop and begin to think about all of the feelings, and sensations, and just let it really sink in...

I feel this book is an excellent depiction of the "Titanic", and not a boring tale of a ship that sinks... This is the real thing. I indefinately reccomend this book to anyone. As a whole, it is about as close as you can possibly get to the true epic of the very damaging, and somehow jinxed, though fateful TITANIC...The legend continues...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 1999
This is the best pictorial chronicle of the Titanic that I know of, the pictures were the best thing out there to describe how the ship looked in in it's pre-sinking days (at least until the movie!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 1999
If you buy only one book about the Titanic, this should be the one! I bought it over a year ago primarily as a visual supplement to "A Night to Remember," because of the great Ken Marschall paintings and the many pages of photos of Titanic and related artifacts. However, I became enthralled by the superb book-length text by historian Don Lynch, which is well worth the price all by itself. Walter Lord's book focused primarily on the night of the sinking, but this book tells the whole story of Titanic, from her conception and construction to the post-disaster inquiries and recovery efforts and the discovery of the wreckage, in addition to an engrossing minute-by-minute and lifeboat-by-lifeboat account of the sinking itself. By James Cameron's own account, this is the book that inspired The Movie. Buy the hardcover if you can, since you'll want to look at it over and over again.
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