Does anyone have info on the following


Status
Not open for further replies.
E

Emily Cunliffe

Guest
Hi everyone,

I was just wondering if there is a book written about J.B.Ismay , and whether you can still obtain it? I would be very grateful if someone knows anything of such a book.

Best wishes
Em!
 
Em,
there is a lot written about Ismay, but most of it is broken up into the text of many, many other books.

the definitive book on Ismay is The Ismay Line. The White Star Line, and the Ismay Family Story by Wilton J. Oldham. this book is a biography of both J. Bruce and his famous father, Thomas Henry. Oldham had complete access to the Ismay family files, making this the most extensive and valuable work on Ismay ever to see print.

it is also an excellent book, although as you might imagine, it treats J. Bruce with the kindest possible slant.

the bad news is that this book is long out of print, and very expensive when it does show up. I believe there is a copy for sale on Bibliofind, cost is in the $250 range, which is about right for this book.

the only other book that focuses a lot on Ismay is The Titanic Story: Hard Choices, Dangerous Decisions by Stephen Cox. this work is also very pro Ismay, but to my mind Cox skews the facts terribly to promote his views. at least this book is a lot more common. you should be able to pick up a copy for around $10.

hope this helps,

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
http://www.titanicbooksite.com
 
E

Emily Cunliffe

Guest
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the info, I did have a look at the Titanicbooksite, which I was impressed with by the way! And knew of the Wilton.J.Oldham book which I read about from your list, I just thought I'd ask to see whether there were any other books about Ismay. And you have finely cured my curiousity, I shall be looking out for the Stephen Cox one. Thanks again!

Best wishes
Em!
 
Hi Em,

I should probably clarify, that Stephen Cox's book is not a biography of Ismay in any way. so if that is what you are primarily looking for, this book will not give you what you need.

Cox's book concentrates on Ismay's roll the night of the disaster, and that is the real Ismay focus in his book.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
http://www.titanicbooksite.com
 
R

Rachel Louise Fellman

Guest
The world is asking for a truly definitive and objective Ismay biography. (Or if the world isn't, *I* am!) While Ismay Line is a great source of cold information, I don't feel that it does justice to the complexities of the personality it describes. It really has the same problem as Braynard's biography of William Francis Gibbs- the author's admiration for the subject leads him to gloss over flaws and flatten out quirks, leaving the readers with a positive, but surprisingly vague, idea of what the subject was like.

Oldham's Ismay is not Walter Lord's, Michael Davies', or Wyn Craig Wade's Ismay, although all four are closer to the idea than any of the movie or musical versions. Everybody who has made a serious try at describing an Ismay has come up with a completely different man, because they usually fail to account for more than one side of a complex character. Sometimes they even argue outright that this is the only side- I recall a moment from "Every Man for Himself" (and I'm glad to bring the memory of this book screaming back into your consciousness, ladies and gentlemen!) where the main character goes off on an un-called for rant about how Ismay had layers, but they were like an onion's, all the same. Um.

What we need is an Ismay book that can reconcile all of these different sides and explain where the other portrayals went wrong. Until then, I can only suggest that we make sure to read Cox carefully after reading Oldham, because his book warns against the kind of flattening of historical figures that has resulted in the many contradictory versions of J. Bruce Ismay that have appeared over the years.

-Rachel
This is my first post, although I have been lurking here for a little while, greatly enjoying the objective discussion and new research available here. And no, I wasn't just posting that to see how often I could type "Ismay" in three paragraphs.
 
Rachel,
Nine Ismays total. A new record! Congratulations!
happy.gif


Josh.
 
G

Gavin Murphy

Guest
Michael (TheManInBlack) T,

Nice line. I like it.

But......

Dismaying that the definite book has not been written, or dismaying subject?

Thought I'd ask.

G
 
R

Rachel Louise Fellman

Guest
You know, we know the man didn't have a pleasant childhood, but growing up with a name that rhymes with "dismay" must have been more terrible than anything T.H. could have said.

See? I did that whole sentence without typing "Ismay" once! Wait...

-Rachel
 
E

Emily Cunliffe

Guest
Hi Everyone,

Thanks again for your replies, there is one topic on Ismay that I am very very interested in and that's is it true that Ismay actually had a holiday home on the Isle of Wight in Bembridge? I have been told by my brother this is so, but I can't find any info confirming this. i.e that's why I'm after a book about Ismay, well that's part of the reason!

Best wishes
Em!
 
Gavin asked:
Dismaying that the definite book has not been written, or dismaying subject?

dismaying that the definitive Ismay book has yet to be written. I liked the Oldham book more than Rachel did, but also agree with her that it is more than obvious that one of Oldham's primary purposes in writing his book was to 'clear' Ismay's name as much as possible.

Ismay is one of the fascinating men in the great Titanic drama. the bad news is that we will never know just how culpable or not he was. I think few people seriously consider his disarming 'I was just a passenger' defense, but on the other hand, was he as directly responsible for the disaster as portrayed in David Brown's book?

too few of the men who were there did not survive the disaster, and the rest had powerful motives not to speak too actively against their employer. barring the invention of a time machine, we will never know. but that doesn't stop us from speculating! :).

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
http://www.titanicbooksite.com
 
Michael T. -- you are quite correct that I portrayed J. Bruce Ismay as somewhat of a "heavy" in my version of the story. My portrait of the man was undoubtedly influenced by my experiences with ship owners. Since writing the book, this website has acquainted with additional information and theories. Ismay's part in the decision making that night may not be quite as black as I painted it. However, I am still convinced his physical presence on the ship made a difference.

-- David G. Brown
 
Hi David,

actually I thought that your version of events regarding Ismay was one of the most interesting I had read in quite a while. one of the reasons I enjoyed your book is that, even though Ismay plays such a direct roll in events that night, you resisted the urge to treat him as the villain of the story. Ismay comes across not as 'good' or 'evil' but as a man trying to take charge with disasterous results.

granted much of the evidence is circumstantial, yet given the clues you have put together, I think it is one possible recreation of what might have happened that night.

whether Ismay was as culpable as you suggest, I don't know. but I am sure in my own mind that his astounding claims about being 'just another passenger' are absurd. in particular, his decision to retreat from public life for the rest of his days, seems to me to point to a man dealing more with guilt than innocence.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
http://www.titanicbooksite.com
 
Actually, I do subscribe 100% to what I wrote in my book. My thinking has changed only as far as Captain Smith's motivations. The captain may have deferred to Ismay on other occasions just 'cause Ismay was the boss. But, once Smith was faced with a real emergency, the relationship of the two men would have changed. Parks Stephenson has suggested a reason why Captain Smith would have been willing to resume steaming after the accident. If Parks is correct (which he usually is), then Ismay's contribution was of less import than I have indicated in my book. Ismay would still have said and done the same things, but they were not as critical to the actions taken by Captain Smith as I have presented.

I would be more specific, but I have promised Parks not to reveal his research until he publishes it.

-- David G. Brown
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top