Monday, 20 August 2012

Review: Titanic in Photographs by Daniel Klistorner and Steve Hall

Publisher: The History Press
Format: Hardcover
Released: September 14th, 2011
Rating: 10/10

Goodreads summary:

The name Titanic has become synonymous with catastrophe, the story of this luxurious liner legendary. Wrecked after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage, the loss of around 1,500 lives among her passengers and crew has gone down in history as one of the most emotive and tragic disasters in history. In this evocative collection of photographs the authors of Titanic The Ship Magnificent tell her full story, from the shipyards of Harland & Wolff and its early vessels, with the backdrop of the great race to build the biggest and best passenger liner, to the frenzy of excitement surrounding her launch. Looking at her officers and crew, her stops at Cherbourg and Queenstown, and including some special, rare photographs, the book follows the story to its inevitable conclusion, considering the lifeboats, the presence of the Carpathia, and the aftermath of the disaster.


I've read a lot of books on the Titanic since 1998, I own over sixty and have completed a good chunk of them. There are a lot of great books on the subject out there (many published by The History Press) and I have to say that Titanic in Photographs is one of the best ever published and is my favourite after The Story of the Wreck of the Titanic. Honestly, it's a beautifully presented book and is worth owning even if you only have a passing interest in this magnificent ship.

These days there are very few Titanic books published that will tell you anything new, but every now and then you find an absolute gem. Titanic in Photographs is one of these gems, and I'm so glad I bought it as soon as it was published in September 2011, mere months before the hundredth anniversary of the disaster itself. It contains many rare photos and has pride of place on my Titanic shelves!

It goes without saying that the authors of this book - Daniel Klistorner, Steve Hall, Bruce Beveridge, Art Braunschweiger and Scott Andrews - know what they're talking about and have earned their reputation as Titanic experts. The amount of detail in the text, from describing her fitting out and sea trials to her near-collision with the New York as she set sail from Southampton, is a fantastic addition to the images and provides a lot of worthwhile and fascinating information.

Titanic in Photographs is packed with breathtaking images of the Titanic from every stage of her short life. Perhaps the most interesting for me are the interior shots of state rooms such as B57 and B59 because so few photos of the furnishings are known to exist. The Cafe Parisien can also be seen in all its glory along with the Verandah Cafe and the A Deck promenade. Looking at the promenade conveys the sheer scope of the ship - I've been reading and studying it for years and I still don't think I've fully grasped its size and grandeur. It's almost impossible to imagine a ship this size, but this book does a great job of bringing it all to life.

I can't recommend this book enough and I urge every Titanic enthusiast to get a copy immediately if you haven't done so already. Every image tells a story in fascinating, poignant detail, and every image shows what a truly amazing ship she really was. Most days I still can't believe this is a true story; it's a disaster that I wasn't even alive for but it's the one moment in history that has hit me the hardest. I don't think anything will ever make me as sad as the story of the Titanic does, and I'm glad there are so many brilliant books like this keeping her legacy alive for new generations to come.

See a preview of the book on The History Press site here.

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