Just to upset Marcus fans, today I picked up a practically perfect paperback copy of The Maiden Voyage for just 9 Aussie dollars. It's the version published by Unwin in 1988. It appears never to have been opened.
It's nice to see that royalties went to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Keep an eye on little secondhand book shops. They don't regard the book as something special and charge much as for other paperbacks.
For my taste, the book is somewhat over-written and it exaggerates the wonders of the Titanic. It contains some odd errors, such as on page 32, where he has Titanic's keel laid after Olympic was launched.
For all that, it's a good addition to any collection. Apart from anything else, it's more comprehensive than ANTR and far better referenced.
After so many references to this book I've been interested in nabbing a copy myself. I've bled my local libraries dry and managed to find a copy in the state library. But until I can get in there I'm dying to know: what is his angle? Does he focus on passengers, crew, the ship's anatomy, before and/or after the event? And most importantly, are his sources reliable?
Any info would be appreciated.
Marcus covers most things. He pays attention to the crew as well as the passengers and has some understanding of nautical matters. He's not much concerned with the ship's construction.
He's generally reliable, but forget his version of the Rappahannock tale. Odd errors creep in, such as a photo of William Waldorf Astor captioned as John Jacob Astor.
He looks at both inquiries and the civil claims and also at "the Californian affair".
Bearing in mind that the wreck had not been discovered in his day and the breakup of the hull was not confirmed, Marcus did a pretty good job. His book is more comprehensive than A Night to Remember and better referenced.
I'll give him 8/10 on modern knowledge, 9/10 for his period. Well worth your time!
And it contains a wealth of additional information in the references, much like Dave Gittins' e-book I may add. I found ANTR a good intro which popularized the entire story. TMV is much more in-depth and a great follow-on. As Dave mentioned, it predates the discovery of the wreck so it must be viewed from that perspective when reading it today, much like a good old movie. I have always found it a joy to read.
Hello, everybody! Newbie here, but a Titanic enthusiast for a very long time. Thanks for recommending this book. I just received a used copy from Amazon for ....24 cents ( actually , $3.73 total with shipping). It is the Viking hardcover with deck plans ! It does have a cigarette burn on the front, but it is just cosmetic damage. The book is tight and I can't quibble much for what I paid. I am enjoying it very much . The style is excellent and it does present the information in a new light. It has been the light of a Monday for me.
Jonathan, I ordered " Lamps" as soon as I finished "Maiden Voyage" because I liked the style of the latter so much! I read about his other book in the author's note and I was quite excited. I haven't received it yet,but I am glad to hear that it is a good choice. I am interested in the entire Victorian/Edwardian era and love to find new books about the times.
Your best bet for getting a copy of Maiden Voyage is on Amazon.com. Please be forewarned that the copies I saw listed are old library books which have been around the block a few times. still, even an old edition is better than nothing
>>Please be forewarned that the copies I saw listed are old library books which have been around the block a few times.<<
And they won't be cheap either.
>> still, even an old edition is better than nothing<<
Agreed on that. A word to the wise, make sure you read the descriptions which give the condition of the book as well as tell whether or not it's an edition that came with the deckplans of the First Class accomadation.
Thanks to abe.com I have just picked up a 'fine' copy of Before the Lamps Went Out, with dustjacket, for £9! Desperately trying not to read it straight away but a quick glance shows the writing style that made Maiden Voyage such a treasure. His chapters on life in the countryside and the industrial cities of Britain in that last year before the outbreak of the Great War read like poetry. As for Maiden Voyage - in my opnion THE best Titanic book - I am surprised there has not been a more recent reprint. Geoffrey Marcus really was 'the special one.'
Agreed, John. 'Lamps' is the best possible read for anybody wanting to immerse themselves in the lost world of Edwardian Britain. Less comprehensive perhaps than works like Roy Hattersley's The Edwardians, but infinitely more readable. The chapters on the political manouevrings which led to the Great War might be a little heavy going for some, but as always Marcus provides the leading players with a personal identity and the reader with a sense of having 'been there'. It's not just a book, it's a time machine. And you won't be disappointed that the Titanic doesn't get a mention!
The Titanic doesn't get a mention in two other books, Bob, which I feel also offer a window on a sizeable slice of the Edwardian world. The Classic Slum and A Ragged Schooling by Robert Roberts looks at the lives, attitudes, expectations and social mores of the working class residents in Salford, Lancashire in the 'golden years' before the outbreak of the Great War. Poverty of material wealth, poverty of ambition and the hope of better things to come stalk the pages. In the States, the Edwardian Age is known and the Gilded Age and I wonder if similar social histories have been published there.
KEEP ON COURSE, QM!
....er, sorry, Mr Lightoller, just painting a background picture of the world from which many of those who sailed on the Titanic came from. Might be tempted to flag this up on the Gilded Age section.