The Titanic and it's Times


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Addison Hart

Guest
Hmmmmm...I posted this on the General Titanica board, but I probably should do so here as well, all things considered.

How's this sound for something to be published as an article (al beit a very very long and boring one): I'm thinking of starting work on a book about the Titanic...now before you roll your eyes and groan "Oh heavens, not another one", listen to the idea. Instead of the usual approach, I was thinking of a history of Europe and America in the Gilded Age with it's focus on the Titanic disaster, entitled 'The Titanic and it's Times', or something nicer than that. The first part of the book would be about the state of Europe and North America at the time. It would center, of course, on Britain and America, but would also cover the French, the Germans, the Russians, and the Italians. In it I'd cover the state of those countries, politically, socially, militarily, etc., and the basic history of the Gilded Age. In this section you'd meet JP Morgan and JJ Astor, of course, but also King George, Bismarck and his successors, Taft and Roosevelt, Nicholas II, etc. And the second part of the book would center on the all-important shipping industry, with the Blue Ribband, Cunard, White Star, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, etc etc, and ultimately our own Titanic. It's better than it sounds!! Anyway, I was thinking of doing a (much, much, much smaller) version as an article for publication here. Hmmm...well what do you think?

Addison Hart
(Who's Probably Stark-Raving-Mad for even coming up with the idea...)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Addison, you have nothing whatever to lose by attempting it. One should bear in mind that the world of book publishing is as subject to the fickle whims of fashion and interest as any other, (To which fact several authors here can ruefully attest.) but as Robert A. Heinlien once said "Sure the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you. If you don't play, you can't win!"

So go for it.
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Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Righty-O, thanks for the encouragement (sorta), Michael. In the book you will learn more of Francis Millet, William T. Stead, or G.K. Chesterton than Lawrence Beesley or 2nd Officer Lightoller, for example, for those three men were major figures of the time. Millet was, of course, the important American artist, and Stead and Chesterton were the two most important journalists of the period.

David, Is it? I have never read Down With the Old Canoe, to tell you the truth I don't own it, it gets too many bad reviews.

God bless,
Addison Hart
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I wanted to give "Down With The Old Canoe" a sticky beak, so I ordered the thing from THS. I can always bury the thing in my closet if I don't like it.

Now if only THS would get the thing...and the History Of The White Star Line title...to me in my lifetime. They seem to have a problem with that lately.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I haven't fully read the Old Canoe either. I read bits and pieces and put it down. It seemed to have some bits talking about the society and times of 1912. I guess you want to take it further and avoid the bad reviews that the Canoe has received. I wish you the best for the book and the research. Looking forward to it.

Daniel.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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I give Down With the Old Canoe very high marks. It's not about the disaster per se but about reactions to it in American society. It does not always get details about the sinking quite right because Biel has not always drawn on reliable writers, but in its own terms it is excellent. It looks at the reactions in the press, the churches, feminists, blacks, unions and so on.

I suspect that the book is put down in some circles because Biel takes a fairly jaundiced view of certain kinds of Titanic enthusiasts but it is a fact that the subject does attract its share of nutters, including those who treat Titanicism as a quasi religion, complete with holy books and saints. Give it a go and also check out Titanica, which is Biel's collection of writings about Titanic.
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Ah, ok, well this book is certainly not going to be like Down With the Old Canoe.

God bless,
Addison
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Addison,

I'd be up for reading your book on just about anyone but JP Morgan. I just think the man was too greedy for my taste. Your topic of choice sounds interesting and fresh, but don't give away too much of your topic, else someone might steal it. If you would like any professional assistance on some shipping info, you might consult specialist Mark Baber. He's the best, and very nice too, I might add.

Sincerely,

Teri
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Thank you, Teri. I shall consult Mr. Baber on this. Odd men, the Robber Barons. To be blunt, the Morgans, the Carnegies, the Vanderbilts, and the Astors were all a bunch of crooks. And my hero, G.K. Chesterton never had anything good to say about them either, which somewhat influences my thinking on that rotten bunch!
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Addison,

Interesting, as I have always read positive things about the Astors, but haven't read too much about the Vanderbilts, as no one seems to center on that personality for some reason, unless I'm reading the wrong books.

Teri
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Well, Teri, the Astors seemed to like buying their ways into politics, and did this quite often. They were probably the most docile of the robber barons. The Vanderbilts truly were crooks. Cornelius Vanderbilt was one of those fellows mixed up with Gould and Fiske, in short, a theif. I am afraid I've never had too much respect for the robber barons.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Addison,

Understood on not having too much respect for the robber barons, as money should definitely be earned in some manner, and not taken from others.

As for the Astors buying their way into politics, could you possibly site this for me? I am interested in taking this up, for I am finding it hard to believe that the Astors were of political minds.

If I had the kind of money the Astors did, I might see fit to buy things other than what they did with their money. To each individual his own, as they say. You or I might have bought another house with our wealth, or had another wardrobe made possibly, but I guess the Astors saw fit to buy their way into politics. It's funny, but I never heard or read anything of any Astor becoming a politician. Are we talking about the 1912 Astors here?

Sincerely,

Teri
 
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Addison Hart

Guest
Gag, looking back I see Teri actually responded to my post long long ago and I never saw it! Sorry, Teri...

The Astors were quite famous for making their ways into politics, especially in Europe, where you have old Waldorf and Nancy, and that lot. Old J.J. of the Big T was not directly involved in politicking (except for some brief stuff in the Spanish-American War). His family did get into politics however, but mostly in England. Waldorf Astor would go over to England and make his way into politics in the Tory Party, and old Nancy Astor, wife of William Waldorf (who may have been present seeing off some Titanic passengers on April 10th at the old Waterloo Station), also got into politics with her husband William. You may remember that she and Winston Churchill were always skirmishing, i.e.:

Nancy: If I were your wife, I'd poison your drink.
Winston: Madame, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.

Something to that effect was actually said, for example. Nancy was J.J. of the Titanic's cousin.

God bless,
Addison
 
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Ed Hachey

Guest
Addison,

I think you have a great concept and wish you luck with it.

Last year, I got a copy of 'Extra Titanic - The Story of Disaster in the Newspapers of the Day' as a present from my five year-old nephew. His idea of it being a great gift because "it's big and about that boat you like" definitely fit. I'm not sure if you know about it, but it's a collection of full newspaper stories from around the US starting with White Star's 1912 sailing schedule for March-April-May from the New York Herald to the Newburyport Morning Herald's story & picture of Capt. Roston getting a loving cup from Mrs. J. J. Brown. This book isn't just the front pages, but actually follows the story from page 1 to page 4 or wherever it's continued. With that, you get the whole story and often the conclusion of other news stories that the papers were covering.

Some may only be local interest stuff, but it gives one an unvarnished look at the times. Reading the coverage of a mayoral race, a musicale at St Paul's and baseball games along with coverage of the Titanic brought to me a sense of how it must of been to find out about the ship in real-time circa 1912. Sort of like how we found out about September 11 as it was happening and how my nephew will find out it when has to write a high school paper.

Sorry for what appears to be a book review, but just an unsolicited suggestion for your research.

Again, you've got an excellent idea and Godspeed
going forth with it -
 
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Emily Bisignano

Guest
I think it's a wonderful idea considering that I have an interest in Turn of the Century history. It would be facinating to learn how the whole Industrial Age, Guilded Age, Le Belle Epoque, ect... led to the Titanic disaster in some way or another. You'd have to do your research BIG TIME! Go for it, I say
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PS: I've never read "Down With the Old Canoe" and it didn't sould very appealing.
 
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Marykate Viola

Guest
Sounds good, but I don't know how you would incorparate the Titanic and the history of Europe and America together. But then you are probably a better writer than I am! But anyway it does sound pretty original[ meaning I never heard a Titanic book like that] and I'd buy if it was ever published. Good luck!!!