Robin Gardiner's History of the White Star Line

Jan 5, 2001
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Mike,

Gardiner's theories make little sense. Many people agree - or is it just *everyone*?

It was the vent article BTW, but much had been unpublished. THS explained their policy:
Quote:

'The THS has had an exclusive policy for some time and prides itself on
> original research, states such in the Commutator and is responsible for
> saving and uncovering much information readily available now. (Unfortunately
> it often doesn¹t get the credit.) The Commutator is an expensive journal to
> produce, people save them because of their quality and permanence and it is a
> reason people like to have their work published in it. For 25 years
> the THS was the only Å’Titanic Society.¹ Over time, it proved itself building
> a reputation from its work. Since the wreck was found, there have been
> numerous imitators otherwise why would names and formats be similar?

> Its unfair to those who pay a membership and support the THS to see
> information given away on the internet. A lot of time, effort and money was
> invested in gathering it. Not to minimise your work or others who are
> serious; putting information on a web site is something anyone can do and if
> its free, it often is not valued. How does one distinguish good research
> from the casual individual who mainly wants visibility, is unconcerned about
> accuracy and/or simply copying others’ work? It¹s something to give some
> thought to.'​

Best regards,

Mark.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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One example is his statement that Adriatic’s firemen mutinied when the ship was in Southampton in August of 1910. Well, why did they mutiny? We are never told.

You will be....soon. Look for a thread called "Mutiny on Adriatic" which will appear later today.

MAB
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Kewel. Is this a sequel to the earlier 'Mutiny on the Oceanic'(and who gets cast as William Murdoch, who was aboard when it happened)??

I suspect that there might be the potential for 'seriously cheesed off on the Belgic' judging from some bits and bobs I've seen on one of her 1911-12 voyages, but that's a story for another day.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Tennaro,

Thanks for your dissertation on Gardiner's latest work. Sounds rather of a negative work in nature and not much fun reading.

I'm debating whether to add this to my collection or not. What do you think?

Teri
 
Nov 12, 2000
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Hi Teri,

I'm having a hard time recommending this book. a much better history of the White Star line is Anderon's White Star, but that is out of print, and quite expensive. if you want a history of White Star based on accidents, Eaton & Haas' Falling Star is a much better book.

that being said, there is a tremendous amount of information in Gardiner's book. some of it is kind of flaky (as noted above), but a lot of it is okay.

Gardiner has also done a very good job of organizing the company's history chronologically. most chapters cover a one to two decade period of time.

finally, no-one has mentioned it yet but there is a great deal of biographical information about J. Bruce Ismay and his father Thomas. other than Oldham's Ismay Line, no-one has done as complete a job as Gardiner in telling the impact these two men had on the shipping industry in their times.

so can I give Gardiner's book a solid recommendation? no. but I it isn't so bad that I would discount it completely either. in a perfect world I would recommend the other books I noted above, but Gardiner has the advantage of being easily available and reasonably priced.

hope that helps!
best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Michael T,

Well maybe the best thing for me to do is peruse it at the library to see if it has data that might be useful to me and go from there. If Gardiner went through the trouble of researching and organizing the company's history chronologically then the book might be worth looking into.

Thank you very much for your review!

Teri
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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MiB - Any indication where Gardiner got his Ismay info from? Does it look like he's had a shoofty through the Merseyside Maritime Museum's collection? Some of the board members here must have had a stickybeak at their holdings...I'm up to Liverpool soonishly to have a look at the material they have on the history of another shipping line, and was wondering if it was worth casting an eye over some of the Ismay material as well. Opinions, anyone?
 
Nov 12, 2000
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Inger,

very hard to say. Gardiner gives NO indication where he got his Ismay information from, or where he got any of his information from for that matter. so it is impossible to say if he mined the resources of the Merseyside Museum or not.

one thing he does imply in his introduction is that he did a lot of research in the newspapers of the day. but I don't think this would involve his Ismay data too much; he seems to have pulled from the papers mostly information about schedules, when White Star added new ships to its fleet, accident reports, etc.

best, Michael (TheManInBlack)T
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Ta for that, Mike and Mark - the Liverpool holdings would seem one of the obvious places to start looking for Ismay material, hence my assumption that that's where Gardiner did some digging.

~ Inger
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi All!

I thought that I would post here quickly about this book.

As many of you will know who have read the latest THS Commutator, there are two book reviews -- one for Paul Louden-Brown's work and one for Gardiner's work. Paul Louden-Brown's work is given an excellent review -- followed by a review pointing out how badly Gardiner's book fares by comparison. Paul Louden-Brown's excellent work deserves such an excellent review -- considering that he has spent far more time researching.

Best regards,

Mark.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
I have Louden-Brown's book and I'm thrilled with it. I saw Ed Kamuda's review of Gardiner's work. It confirmed a lot of what I already suspected.

Rather a pity too. Gardiner seems capable of doing some decent research...now if only he would actually back up claims with solid evidence, cite sources, lose that conspiracy angle he's so pre-occupied with...

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart