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Titanic: A Postal Collection Mass Market Paperback – September 17, 1998
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Mass Market Paperback
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Top customer reviews
Sunday, November 29, 1998
By Peter Rexford St. Louis Post Dispatch
Not surprisingly, one of this holiday season's most popular gifts is the video of the movie "Titanic." As much as I enjoyed the film's plot, I was more intrigued by something it barely touched on. After the ship sank and silence fell over the scene, what was it like to be one of the survivors sitting in a tiny lifeboat in the middle of the ocean not knowing whether you would ever be noticed or found?
In a sense, some people on an island about 400 miles off the southeast coast of Africa have long felt the same way. The former French colony of Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island - roughly the size of Texas - yet many people don't even know it's there. It's the leading producer of cloves and vanilla but doesn't have a recognizable city. What it does have is someone very wise who knows something about stamps.
This month, Madagascar is sure to get noticed, thanks to its issuance of the most magnificent set of stamps I've seen about the story of the Titanic or any other subject. Madagascar's Titanic stamps are contained on six creatively detailed souvenir sheetlets containing either four or six stamps apiece. Each of the sheetlets covers a different aspect of the ship's creation and fate, including: "Building the Legend," "Titanic: The Glitz & the Glamor," "R.M.S. Titanic Period Postcards," "Faces of Titanic," "Titanic Rescue" and "The Aftermath."
Filling the background of each sheetlet is an enlarged illustration and images of the individual topics. And each stamp is created from either original historic photographs or original illustrations pertaining to the topic. Also printed on each stamp is a brief caption explaining the scene.
Every bit as impressive as the stamp sheetlets is a full-color book that was produced by the American distributor for the stamps. Filled with dozens of fantastic photos and even a translucent blueprint of each of the Titanic's 10 levels, the book tells the complete story of the ship from start to finish. Best of all, the text by author/historian Lonnie Ostrow is clear and interesting and anything but dry. If readers have a complaint, it will be that the writing isn't more extensive, or perhaps that there are not additional pages.
Titled "Titanic: A Postal Collection," the book doubles as a stamp album, as it has a reserved place for each of the six stamp sheetlets. Included are protective stamp mounts for each sheetlet. At the back of the book is a section of 100 Titanic trivia facts, including many that would even stump historians of the ship. Hands down, of all post-movie collectibles I've seen pertaining to the ship or the movie, I have to believe this would be the biggest hit for everyone with a passing interest in the event, as well as history buffs and stamp collectors. Best of all, the
price tag for the stamps and book/album is $28.95 (including shipping and handling).
Anyone interested in purchasing one before the holidays needs to order NOW.
However, there are several typos found on each and every page. Further, the historic research leaves much to be desired because it overflows with factual errors. Those responsible should be set adrift in a lifeboat.
For example, one page describing the survivors' rescue details events on an inflatable raft, but the ship had no inflatable rafts at all.
Other such mistakes include the following: The Titanic was NOT the first ship to have a swimming pool; that was its sister ship, Olympic. Richard L. Beckwith did NOT go down with the ship. Molly Brown was NOT a character in the 1997 Broadway musical.
If you want this book and its stamps to look at and cherish, great! But don't use it if you're looking for facts...