Advice on best Titanic book?


Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,532
944
388
65
Sinking the Myths is bad, a lot of made up claims and untruths.
I think "bad" is an understatement. The author has presented her moronic ideas in the form of pseudo-research. Very misleading and completely worthless.

For those who are technically minded and interested in the logistics of the flooding and sinking, the excellent Report into the Loss of SS Titanic: A Centennial Reappraisal by Samuel Halpern is a virtual bible. Very highly recommended.
 

PRR5406

Member
Jun 9, 2016
183
72
93
71
Maine
On A Sea Of Glass by Leyton et al is by some distance the best book as far as the disaster itself is concerned.

Exceptional analysis of the whole event, from the moment the ships were conceived, until the last debris fluttered to the ocean bed. Many photos never seen before, and while many are duplicated, each tells something of detail about the ship. My overall impression is, you can smell not only the varnish and paint, but the wax on the promenade deck wood. Smaller than cruise ships of today, "Titanic" was huge in terms of North Atlantic liners of her day.
To look up for the ocean surface and witness this hull looming above you, must have been a feeling of how small a person is compared to his creations, and how small the ship is compared to the sea.
"On A Sea of Glass" is the book.
 

sinemej

Member
May 11, 2018
1
0
11
As Adam already stated it depends on what you are interested. Regarding survivor accounts, I would recommend the book "On Board RMS Titanic" by George Behe which contains many accounts from newspapers and private letters.
Beside the book Adam mentioned "On A Sea of Glass" is also good from what I have heard and would be more up to date as ANTR. Report into the loss of the SS Titanic by Samuel Halpern and others is also great but did not go very much in detail regarding survivor accounts.

If you are interested in the construction I would recommend "Titanic The Ship Magnificent" by Steve Hall, Bruce Beverbridge, Scott Andrews, Daniel Klistorner & Art Braunschweiger. Volume 1 is about the Technical Details and Volume 2 about the interior.

If you also like something of the kind photo book then I would recommend "Titanic in Photographs" by Steve Hall and Daniel Klistorner. If you like the story of the Olympic Class Ships then the books of Mark Chirnside will be of konut kredisi great help!
good answer
 

robert warren

Member
Feb 19, 2016
194
72
93
I get a little fed up with ANTR being regarded as outdated.Yes Lord's description of the sinking from technical standpoints may be, but the human emotion is not. The dialogue in this book is all taken from the survivors themselves and what they experienced. Still makes a great read.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Jay Roches

Member
Apr 14, 2012
161
57
93
ANTR is a true classic, but it only covers April 14 and 15. On a Sea of Glass covers the whole Titanic story from the conception of the Olympic class to the present day. If I was stranded in a lifeboat with only one Titanic book, it'd be On a Sea of Glass. Calling Report into the Loss of SS Titanic: A Centennial Reappraisal a virtual bible is, I think, an apt description, in that it's a book that you can turn to for authoritative information. It's not a page-turner, but it's an invaluable reference work on the sinking. It complements the two-volume Titanic: The Ship Magnificent, which does not touch on the sinking at all but discusses every known detail of the ship.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,532
944
388
65
Perfect post. ANTR is well written from a survivor's perspective but as we are looking at facts, it does come across as dated and rather short on detail. It was written for basic Titanic enthusiasts but for those who want to look into minute-by-minute analysis (eg Where was Bo'sun Nichols at 01:30 hours? etc) like a lot of forum members here like to discuss, it is out of its depth. And it does not mention much about the ship before the accident.

Titanic: The Ship Magnificent
is the best book for construction details of the ship itself, before it set ail on its fateful maiden voyage. It helps to create a mental picture of what life could have been like for the 3 classes of passengers and the crew on board.

On A Sea Of Glass is the best book regarding the maiden voyage, passengers and the disaster itself, going into quite a lot of detail about the voyage, events leading up to the collision, how passengers and crew reacted to the situation etc.

Report into the Loss of SS Titanic is a step by step investigative analysis of events leading up to, during and immediate aftermath of the accident. A superb reference book, it should be read alongside Sam Halpern's related articles in ET's Resource section.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Tim Gerard

Member
Feb 26, 2019
184
102
88
In my opinion A Night To Remember is a must read for anyone interested in the Titanic. It is a bit outdated, having been published before the wreck was found and when it was accepted that the ship sank intact, but it's a good overview of that night. It's a pretty short book, and I thought easy to read.

I haven't read it cover to cover, but Titanic Ships, Titanic Disasters: An Analysis of Early Cunard and White Star Superliners by William Garzke Jr is an interesting book. It's a very in depth naval architectural look at the Titanic, Lusitania, and Britannic, and it's published by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

I've been poking around in the 1912 US Senate hearings transcript, and thinking about actually reading that one cover-to-cover, along with The Mammoth Book of the Titanic by Geoff Tibballs.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
720
401
108
Glasgow, Scotland
ANTR remains a very good primer for a beginner wanting to know the bare essentials of the disaster. I lent mine to a curious friend just the other week.

However in terms of it being "the" book, it was well and truly eclipsed years ago by Eaton & Haas "Triumph & Tragedy" and Lynch & Marshall's "An Illustrated History". And now we have "On A Sea of Glass" by Fitch, Kent Layton and Wormstedt which will be our gold standard for many years to come.

Three to read are:

Michael Davie's underappreciated "Titanic: Death and Life of a Legend", a very well balanced analyses of some controversial aspects of the disaster.

Richard Davenport-Hines "Titanic Lives" focuses on the people aboard rather than the ship. It looks at the social and economic background of the passengers and crew and considers the age they lived, worked and died in. It does have a couple of annoying minor errors but is otherwise good.

George Behe's invaluable "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of the Maiden Voyage" a huge compilation of letters, diaries, postcards sent by passengers and crew aboard the ship both before and after the sinking is essential reading.
 

Tim Gerard

Member
Feb 26, 2019
184
102
88
ANTR remains a very good primer for a beginner wanting to know the bare essentials of the disaster. I lent mine to a curious friend just the other week.

However in terms of it being "the" book, it was well and truly eclipsed years ago by Eaton & Haas "Triumph & Tragedy" and Lynch & Marshall's "An Illustrated History". And now we have "On A Sea of Glass" by Fitch, Kent Layton and Wormstedt which will be our gold standard for many years to come.

I just meant ANTR as a good one to start with. "Titanic: An Illustrated History" was the first Titanic book I ever got that was not written for children, although I still was a child when I got it. I do look forward to reading "Triumph & Tragedy", it should be ready to pick up from the local library today actually. The library doesn't have "On A Sea of Glass" and so I may sneak it into my wife's Cyber Monday shopping on Amazon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,258
1,152
308
Titanic: An Illustrated History. Thats a good book. One that I thumb thru often. But there are many good books on Titanic...some not so good. It probably should be divided into seperate catagories...technical or the human tradgedy aspect. Kind of like asking what's the best motor oil...ask 10 different mechanics get 10 different answers. I have a copy of "The sinking of Titanic and other Sea Disasters". Its full of mistakes, incorrect assumptions and other flaws but being published in 1912 I like it as an historical novelty. But if someone was to ask me that they wanted to learn about the Titanic story I would agree with many of the posters here that ANTR is a good place to start and go from there. To those of us here in the US Happy Thankgiving everybody.
 

Tim Gerard

Member
Feb 26, 2019
184
102
88
And now we have "On A Sea of Glass" by Fitch, Kent Layton and Wormstedt which will be our gold standard for many years to come.


My copy of "On a Sea of Glass" finally came yesterday (I ordered it on Amazon on Cyber Monday and it finally just arrived yesterday). Looking through it, it already looks like one of the best, if not the best, books about the Titanic that I have ever seen in my life.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
720
401
108
Glasgow, Scotland
Aye, On A Sea of Glass is undoubtedly the best book we have ever had available on the subject.

It will likely be the No. 1 text on the ship and the sinking for the twenty or thirty years.

If you are keen to examine a variety of specific technical issues regarding the sinking and see the numbers crunched then I'd also recommend getting Sam Halpern and Co's Report into the Loss of the SS Titanic. Apologies if you already have it.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Sep 21, 2017
1,042
207
138
It depends on your point of view what you are looking for?
All the above books are good ones. I would also added, Paul Lee The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger to. As for more on technology information I would recommend: Richard P. de Kerbrech and Mark Chirnside books.
 

bitcohen

Member
Sep 5, 2019
4
3
13
NJ - New Jersey
Hi. I'm on lockdown now as most of us.
So just finished reading The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson and I am shocked at how similar this 1898 novella is to the sinking of the Titanic!
I think it'd make for a good Titanic II type of film, especially as it has what the mostly romantic-focused plot of the original film with Winslet and DiCaprio lacked:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,258
1,152
308
Good for you for reading the book. I have not read that one myself. From what I understand that book was edited after the sinking to make some things seem more like the Titanic episode. I least thats what I read from various sources. I guess it would be easy to verify if one was interested. But either way you seemed to enjoy the book so thats a good thing. Cheers.
 

Tim Gerard

Member
Feb 26, 2019
184
102
88
I just finished (the public library's digital e-book) of "The Midnight Watch" by David Dyer. I would categorize it as more fiction than non-fiction, but it is the Titanic disaster from 3 different points of view: a newspaper reporter for the Boston American newspaper going back and forth between New York and Boston trying to get an exclusive angle on the Titanic story; Californian wireless operator Cyril Evans, and Californian Second Officer Herbert Stone.

Like I said, I would categorize it as fiction more than non-fiction, it seemed like it was well researched but I don't know how accurate it actually was for events on board the Californian. I would read it less for factual knowledge and more for if you want a grasp on what the mood likely was on the Californian that night and the following couple of days, and what the mood was in New York among the throngs of people trying to get what little information was coming in before the Carpathia arrived.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
1,387
673
188
South Wales UK
Hi Tim,

By way of coincidence David Dyer's book 'The Midnight Watch' arrived through my post box last Friday.

David has provided a detailed article/research paper setting out his research in considerable detail, and which I re-read from time to time, and which I consider to be excellent.

I am half way through 'The Midnight Watch' at the moment; so can't provide any 'spoilers'!

I would recommend it to any of those on here interested in 'The Californian Incident', as I would also recommend David's research paper. Half way through 'The Midnight Watch' by David it gets quite gripping, and the accuracy by reference to a wide range of primary source documents in lots of respects is quite outstanding.

Cheers,

Julian
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

The Armchair At the Inn

Kwilson4292
Member
May 12, 2020
2
0
1
39
East Tennessee
I recently really enjoyed: The Ship of Dreams by Gareth Russell its an interesting easy read that gives a pretty full picture of the events. Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines is a good in depth look at the passengers who left personal accounts of the sinking and a glimpse of their lives before and after.
 

Aly Jones

Member
Nov 22, 2008
1,174
70
183
Australia
Any books on the officers are the best in my bias opinion.

Just brought this book here. Heard it's pretty good book. If you are into officers /crew and how they kept and run the ship and also how they interacted with each other, then this book is for you. And Just remember, there were no emails, smart phones, text messages, pa systems on board titanic either.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20200717_193500_com.android.gallery3d.jpg
    Screenshot_20200717_193500_com.android.gallery3d.jpg
    316.6 KB · Views: 86
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Similar threads

Similar threads