New Empress of Ireland Book

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I hope that I am not repeating something which has already been posted, but today I was given a copy of an excellent relatively new Empress of Ireland book: Empress of Ireland- the Story of An Edwardian Liner (Derek Grout). It serves as the perfect compliment to David Zeni's Forgotten Empress, as it devotes most of its space to the career of the ship rather than the disaster and so there is little duplication between the two works. The text manages to pack in more facts than is usual in the newer books, and does so in a way which isn't boring. The illustrations are (mostly) original, again with little duplication of those in Forgotten Empress, and best of all, the appendices are filled with unusual details (such as the names of-possibly-all of the passengers who died aboard the Empress on previous trips, and the passenger loads for every voyage she made) which keep one reading well beyond the final chapter. Altogether, one of the best ship books of the last ten years.
I'll second that. I picked up my copy a couple of weeks ago and am very impressed by both Mr. Grout's research and his writing style.

The only fault I can find with it is the soft cover format.

Soft cover format used to bother me, but after a decade of books featuring intentionally miscaptioned photos; internal monologues by people who died presented as "fact;" MISTAKES plagiarised from other works; improperly interpreted statistics, and the word "Conspiracy" in the title
my standards have slackened a bit.
Good point! I could find a few that would be equally at home on the shelf, or in the bird cage.

I'm not finding a thread on recommended non-Titanic books. Perhaps there should be.

The last few I books I have picked up are:
"The American Line" Wm. Flayhart III (impressive and enjoyable, if somewhat esoteric)
"A Thread Across the Ocean", John Steele Gordon (Very Atlantic Cable oriented, and not very ship oriented, OK though.) and
"The History of the White Star Line" Robin Gardiner. (Reads like a series of newspaper clippings, but at least he doesn't use the word "conspiracy".) Enough said.
A few recommended books:
CARPET OF SILVER: The Wreck of the Zuytdorp (Phillip Playford) Great account of the wreck and of how the supposedly unsalvageable treasure was lotted during thet 1980s.

BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD (Mike Dash) Despite the shrill 'not for the squeamish' reviews this is actually a very intelligent book about an incident in which the occupants of a wrecked ship formed a Lord Of the Flies type of society and massacred all of the undesirables only to meet with a variety of awful fates.

THE SINKING OF THE PRINCESS SOPHIA: Taking The North Down With Her (Ken Coates & Bill Morrison) Your standard "passenger ship with 356 aboard gets stranded on a reef and sinks with no survivors" story made interesting by great research and writing.

THE VALENCIA TRAGEDY (Michael C. Neitzel) Your standard "passenger ship with about 150 aboard gets stranded on a reef and is slowly beaten to pieces as rescuers watch and make no effort to save the passengers" story made interesting by great writing and research and tons of pictures.

RAISING THE HUNLEY (Brian Hicks and Schuyler Kropf)

GREAT SHIPWRECKS OF THE PACIFIC COAST (Robert C. Belyk) Long accounts of the Brother Jonathan (struck reef while overlaoded in a storm and sank with few survivors and an alleged treasure aboard) Pacific (old liner which rammed a sailing ship- not the other way around- and almost immediately foundered with the loss of between 275 and 500 lives) Clallam (sprung leak and slowly foundered- all women and children lost when lifeboats wre swamped, most men who remained with the ship survived) Columbia (old ship rammed and sank quickly with large loss of life) and San Juan (1929- extremely old ship rammed and sank in what is estimated to be little more than a minute and a half with huge loss of life- two survivors still alive at this writing) and others. A great 'easy read.'

COME AND KNOCK ON OUR DOOR (Chris Mann) Everything you ever wanted to know- and likely more- about America's favorite maddeningly repetitive sitcom. Compelling reading, and I was surprised since I hated the show to begin with.

FIRESTORM AT PESHTIGO (Denise Gess and William Lutz)

NEW LONDON SCHOOL: In Memoriam. (Lori Olson) Answers the question 'is it ever a good idea to use raw unscented natural gas to heat a school with 500-1000 people in it?' with a resounding 'no.' This 1937 disaster, largely unremembered outside of Texas claimed around 300 students teachers and visitors, and the book is highly recommended. (check out website

Jason D. Tiller

Hi Jim,

That book about the Empress of Ireland sounds interesting! Thanks for posting it. I'll have a look for it, the next time I'm at a bookstore.

Best regards,


Gavin Murphy

Just for clarity sake.......

this book is about 2 years old......
I was given a complimentary copy of this work by Tempus and it is very impressive. The date I have is summer 2002.

Best regards,

Mark, would this be a second edition? (Since I ordered a copy, I guess I'll know soon enough.) Irrespective of that, it's nice to see that there's more then just one book out on this ship.
It could have been the second edition. The book is quite thick, and it's softback. There are other great ship books from this publisher, from the Queen Elizabeth to Mauretania, Berengaria and more due out.

Best regards,

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