Thanks for th heads up Michael-
I really enjoyed Mark's past books- It's amazing that someone so young can be such a prolific author- and his books are among the most detailed books i have ever read-
It's good to know there is a new generation of Titanic historians, and it isn't just a topic for the over 40 crowd.
I look forward to what the years have in store for Mr Chirnside- hopefully he will become one of the busiest authors in the ocean liner community.....
I don't know if Mark will become one of the busiest. He's not just punching them out one after another for it's own sake. Everything I've seen indicates that he takes his time to do his utmost to get things right, and he's done quite a bit of digging to do it. He's quicker at it then most but I think that's due in no small part to having a good sense of where to dig and having easier access to some archives where some otherwise mighty obscure but interesting source material is buried.
An in depth treatment of the Aquatania is waaaaaaayyyyyyy overdue in my opinion. Of all the four stackers, she had a varied and successful career as well as one of the longest. Yet outside of those who study the history of the great liners, she's almost completely forgotten.
This is a book I'm looking forward to getting my hands on.
I agree with you- Mark certainly does his homework, and he is a true scholar. His books stand apart from other books of the same topic because many of his photos are previously unpublished., as well as some of the recollecions of past passengers.
I too am eager to read his Aquitania book- I wonder if there is truth to the assertion- I beleive made by John Maxtome Grahm- That Aquitania was a Cunard attempt at an Olympic class ship. ...
I have read conflicting things reagading the condition of aquitania when she was scrapped- some accounts suggest she was truly falling apart at the seams, other accounts suggest she was in superb shape. Pity she was scrapped- If only the Aquitania were still with us- She'd make the ultimaate ocean liner museum....
>>I wonder if there is truth to the assertion- I beleive made by John Maxtome Grahm- That Aquitania was a Cunard attempt at an Olympic class ship. ... <<
I think the main objective was to have a third ship as a running mate for the Lusitania and the Mauritania, but without the expense that comes with speed, so they could maintain a weekly service. I don't think Cunard was so much trying to duplicate the Olympic as they were trying to be competitive.
>>I have read conflicting things reagading the condition of aquitania when she was scrapped- some accounts suggest she was truly falling apart at the seams, other accounts suggest she was in superb shape.<<
My bet is on the former. By the time the Aquatania was taken out of service, she had been operating in both peace and through two world wars for 36 years. This is hardly kind to any ship's hull and by all accounts, she was in very poor condition. You can read more about her at http://www.greatoceanliners.net/index2.html
Goodness, I appreciate the interest in my upcoming project. I'll have to make sure the Aquitania page of my website is updated as more information becomes available.
I am grateful for the very kind words about my work. I do try and produce something detailed and original, if truth be told the research is easier than the writing. I am blushing at the compliments -- but if I couldn't find something new, there would be little point in doing it.
As regards Aquitania's hull, inevitably she was showing her age. A 1946 assessment stated that she was basically sound and would be serviceable for a few more years, yet specific defects such as fatigue cracking were evident. These included a 30-inch crack that had developed in the early 1930s, that continued to extend in the mid to late 1940s and required substantial repairs. In summer 1949, her passenger and safety certificates were issued to expire at the end of the year, but for new certificates to be issued beyond that point a substantial refit was necessary including some permanent repairs. I am sure that could have been done, but with a ship that old it wasn't really economical.
>>...if truth be told the research is easier than the writing.<<
It usually is. Finding the information is reletively easy, but presenting that information in a manner that's interesting, readable, yet accurate is the real trick and few authors of historical works manage to pull it off all that well. Dr. Paula Fredriksen manages that in fine fashion with her histories of the early Christian movement, and considering the subject matter, that's no mean feat!
You've avoided the trap of writing something so dry that it puts people to sleep and I trust you'll continue to do so. The Aquatania deserves way more attention then she's recieved and I'll be looking forward to the end result of your work.