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.
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.
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.
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.
on August 28, 2015
The complement to this book is the PBS Titanic 2-part series DVD where these authors provide exceptional color commentary on the events leading up to, during and well after the Titanic tragedy. This book is the only book everyone should read on the subject. In fact, it is worthy of being an elementary school history book. Buy it inexpensively, used, and do yourself a favor during a rainy day!
on January 2, 2013
I bought this book and I must say it is without a doubt the best book that is written on the Titanic. the artwork and photos are very fabulous ,and the book is very well-written,one of few make you feel like you are being transported back in time to the Titanic,and can almost feel the feelings the passengers and crew would have. to any Titanic buffs out there,I strongly recommmend this book!
on April 21, 2016
I've always been intrigued by the amazing machines that mankind has created - the Titanic is no exception to this. Of course, its true legacy remains as the largest and most luxurious ship of its time that ultimately could not complete its maiden voyage. Because this great ship sank before it had a chance to be properly documented, books like this are the best way I've found to remember her - through the gathering of the limited photos actually taken, together with a description of her relatively short history as compiled by Donald Lynch, and complimented by the art work by Ken Marschall - whose artwork exceeds in detail and realism any photos that *might* have been taken during that time period!
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