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Titanic: An Illustrated History Hardcover – November 28, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The tragedy of the Titanic has been captured in fiction, nonfiction, music, poetry, cartoons, official judicial inquiry, survivors' recollections, still photography, TV shows, and film; all of the above are covered to some extent in this good and popular book. But few Titanic books match the paintings by Ken Marschall, a specialist on the subject whose work can be found in other books by the ship's discoverer, Robert Ballard, who wrote the introduction here. The photos are notable--including shots of the red-paint-stained iceberg that may have caused the sinking, the pristine ship, the sunken wreck, the people involved in the case--but Marschall's dozens of large-scale paintings really do help to dramatize and explicate moments no camera glimpsed and few eyewitnesses agree upon.

There is much to recommend the text, too. You could make a movie just about Second Officer Charles Lightoller, who helped accelerate the lifeboat-launching process, saving lives; stepped off the ship's bridge into the Atlantic; was sucked down into a ventilator taking in water, vainly swimming against its suction; and then got expelled by a blast of air, like a human cannonball in a circus, and landed next to a lifeboat that had been knocked 20 feet clear of the sinking ship's deadly whirlpool by a huge ship's funnel that crashed into the waves nearby. Lightoller was marvelously clever in his courtroom interrogation by an attorney determined to maneuver him into admitting blame for the disaster.

There is much more history in between the dramatic illustrations, facts both grand and trivial--if you're bent on knowing what actually happened to the dogs aboard, the answer is in this book. Definitely one of the better titles dealing with Titanic. --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

No ship has continued to capture the public's imagination like the White Star Liner R.M.S. Titanic. The events that unfolded on Sunday, April 14, 1912 have been told in many books, including such works as Walter Lord's A Night To Remember ( LJ 10/15/55) and Robert D. Ballard's Discovery of the Titanic ( LJ 1/88). Lynch (historian, Titanic Historical Society) and artist Marschall have collaborated in this latest history of that fateful event. Combining photographs, stunning paintings, and a gripping text, they have provided, as Ballard states in his introduction, the next best thing to a visit to the Titanic. Lynch raises interesting questions that may never be answered: Most tantalizingly, should First Officer Murdoch, on watch on the bridge during the 60 seconds between the sighting of the iceberg and the collision, have given different commands? This latest history of one of the sea's greatest tragedies is a visual tour de force that will please both general reader and maritime history enthusiasts. Essential for all libraries.
- Harold N. Boyer, Marple P.L., Broomall, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (November 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078686401X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786864010
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 9 year old son is obsessed with all things Titanic. This is a great book, well written, and with great photos (which is his greatest part). The history and passengers and crew all come alive in this great illustrated book. It is a large book filled with photos and history we hadn't seen before. We are happy with this purchase.
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