French Line Books

Scott Reigel

Jul 26, 2002
Can anyone recommend a good book on the history of the French Line or French Atlantic steamship activity in general? Particularly interested in the 19th Century, but any textual history of the line would be great.

I do have the Wm. Miller “Picture history” book, and several books dedicated to Normandie or Ile de France, but I would like to find a dedicated top-to-bottom history of the line.


Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
Hi, Scott: Louis-Rene Vian's "Arts Decoratifs a Bord des Paquebots Francais" is the absolute best, but also very hard to find in the US. My email is down, but I can post the address of the publisher here, if you would like it. You HAVE to buy it, as I can guaratnee that of the roughly 2500 photos in it you've already seen fewer than 25, and the color photographs of all of the preserved interior fittings are worth the price of the book on their own. There is also a book/magazine called "Ete 1955" published in France (in 1955, stating the obvious) which was a history of French passenger and cargo shipping up 'til that point, and just this morning I found a copy of a very small but lavishly illustrated book newly out by the title of leHavre/NewYork which is an illustrated history of the service betwweent the two ports.

You didn't ask about this, but I just read through two remarkable books: Transatlantici (Mauricio Eliseo) which is an illustrated history of Italian passenger shipping, and Six Wonderful Days, which is the catalogue for a now closed Genoa exhibit of Italian Line art (graphics, textiles,architecture....etc) whicgh is in the top 5 most beautiful ship-oriented books I've ever seen. Both available through SeaDragon, a company I highly recommend if you haven't already used them for ship-oriented books
Nov 23, 1996

As you mentioned William Miller's Picture History of the French Line.

Might, I refer you to one of his newer works:

Miller, William H. "Passenger Liners French Style",Carmania Press, Unit 212, Station House, 49, Greenwich High Road, London, SE10 8JL, Great Britain, 2001 ISBN: 0 9534291 7 2

Similar threads

Similar threads