Titanic books you maybe shouldn't have bought.


J Sheehan

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A few months back I did a page on how many books about Titanic people had.

Now for the other end of the spectrum...did any of you ever buy any Titanic books where you thought it was a good idea to get them at the time?

For me it was Gardiner's Titanic: The Ship that Never Sank. That was bad, in fact I had trouble understanding his point of his ridiculous conspiracy theory at times.
 
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Jan 23, 2019
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While I'm familiar with Hall and Beveridge's book rebutting the theory, I must admit I've never read Gardiner's work. One thing I've heard is, at least in the first edition, the actual conspiracy took up very little space in the book. How true is that?

I can't recall off the top of my head any books I regret buying as I tend to check out reviews first.

One book I'm skeptical of is either "882.5" or "1912 Facts about Titanic". I think you'd have to really start looking for obscure things the audience would be interested in, and I'm not sure how one would go out of their way to find so many distinct facts and put in sufficient research to verify them. That being said, I've never read it.
 
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Eric Paddon

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Daniel Allen Butler. I regret to this day ever reading anything with his name on it and that I ever became aware of his existence.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Christian , Eric...I admit I'm a slacker when it comes to Titanic books and have never read those 2 authors. Thanks I won't add them to my list of books I want to get on Titanic. I only have about 10 books on her. Enjoyed them all but they pretty much same say the same thing..we know how the story ends so to speak. I have 5 books on my list to get about Titanic. I've pretty much wrapped up my last project so I have quit hemorrhaging money and will order them soon. But back to your question. One book I have that is not very accurate is also one my favorites because of the history and novelty of it.
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Arun Vajpey

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Books about the Titanic that I bought and thought was a total waste of money
1. A Titanic Myth by Leslie Harrison: Mostly irrelevant meandering nonsense about the Californian incident.
2. Titanic: Sinking the Myths by D E Bristow: An unbelievably badly written book using outlandish theories and manipulated evidence. Not worth the paper that was wasted on it.

Gardiner's Titanic: The Ship that Never Sank is probably worse but I did not buy it. The title said everything one needed not to know.
 
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Daniel Allen Butler. I regret to this day ever reading anything with his name on it and that I ever became aware of his existence.
I just read a clip on him. Sounds like somebody I also would avoid if what I read is true. He claims that Captain Lord was a sociopath that hated people and that was one of the reasons he didn't act to try and save anyone. I will have to check that out more to see if that's what he wrote. Sounds slanderous to me but I guess that doesn't count with dead people. The review clip I read said Walter Lord also made the same claim in his second book. I don't remember that but been a long time since I read that book.
 
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Oh! I actually have one!

"Titanic: The Ship Magnificent."

Not because of the quality of the content (I frequently reference it and read through it on my spare time), but because it's so large and heavy and I travel frequently. If I go on a plane, I have to build my suitcase around it or carry it on me at all times. I often have to leave it at home and be without it for months on end for this reason.

I have no solution to this since the sheer breadth and depth of detail is the reason I forked over the moolah for it. The only thing I can think of to this is an electronic version, and I'm not sure how feasible that is.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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He claims that Captain Lord was a sociopath that hated people and that was one of the reasons he didn't act to try and save anyone.
I have read that too and that's pure bunkum. Captain Lord came across as a rather stern individual who did not make friends easily; add to that being the Captain of a not too well known (that is, till the Titanic sank) ship, it would have been easy to view him as a martinet. But that's still a very long way from being a sociopath.

There is no doubt that there was more than a little 'slackness' (to quote Lord himself) on board the Californian on the night that the Titanic sank and Captain Lord himself was responsible for some of it. But it would be wrong to claim that he knew what was happening on board the Titanic and deliberately decided not to even try to help.
 
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That book is on my list to buy. I've seen that it is a large book from the review on YT. But the size is no problem as I usually don't take my books with me when I travel. When I was travelling a lot I joined this airport book kind of thing where you bought one book, read it , swapped it back to the book store chain at the next airport, next book was only a few dollars..ect. But those were mostley just novels to get you thru the oversea's flights. But I digress. I have only seen good things said about that book and am going to to get it.
 
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I have read that too and that's pure bunkum. Captain Lord came across as a rather stern individual who did not make friends easily; add to that being the Captain of a not too well known (that is, till the Titanic sank) ship, it would have been easy to view him as a martinet. But that's still a very long way from being a sociopath.

There is no doubt that there was more than a little 'slackness' (to quote Lord himself) on board the Californian on the night that the Titanic sank and Captain Lord himself was responsible for some of it. But it would be wrong to claim that he knew what was happening on board the Titanic and deliberately decided not to even try to help.
I agree with what you wrote. You said it better than me. Most people in charge are just trying to get a job done. Many have different styles which can be perceived as something else. But to claim that someone is almost a serial killer because things didn't turn out a way you like is over the top in my opinion. Anyway I have no interest in buying any of his stuff.
 
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M
That book is on my list to buy. I've seen that it is a large book from the review on YT. But the size is no problem as I usually don't take my books with me when I travel. When I was travelling a lot I joined this airport book kind of thing where you bought one book, read it , swapped it back to the book store chain at the next airport, next book was only a few dollars..ect. But those were mostley just novels to get you thru the oversea's flights. But I digress. I have only seen good things said about that book and am going to to get it.

Make no mistake, you should buy The Ship Magnificent. It's a great book. It's just in my particular circumstance, it's impractical to have it on me.


I have read that too and that's pure bunkum. Captain Lord came across as a rather stern individual who did not make friends easily; add to that being the Captain of a not too well known (that is, till the Titanic sank) ship, it would have been easy to view him as a martinet. But that's still a very long way from being a sociopath.

There is no doubt that there was more than a little 'slackness' (to quote Lord himself) on board the Californian on the night that the Titanic sank and Captain Lord himself was responsible for some of it. But it would be wrong to claim that he knew what was happening on board the Titanic and deliberately decided not to even try to help.

My honest appraisal of that is the only reaction that would have satisfied those who claimed he was a sociopath is Lord breaking down in tears in public and admitting he committed 1,500 counts of manslaughter.
 

Eric Paddon

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Oh yes, Diana Bristow. There's a name from the distant past I'd forgotten all about until today and who was another lousy author.

Butler wasn't that great of an author but he was a far worse human being.
 
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Eric Paddon

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It's been so long but Bristow had some crazy theories about the "mystery ships" as I recall. Others would know better than me.

The only thing I'm going to say about Butler is that he quite obviously never read the book "How To Win Friends And Influence People" based on the way he would behave in mesage boards and internet forums.
 

Arun Vajpey

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What made Bristow and Butler suck?
Butler's book Unsinkable was cheap, sensationalist and inaccurate presentation of the disaster that appeared to have been written by a man with what is commonly called a "serious attitude problem" if you get my drift.

Diane Bristow's Titanic: Sinking the Myths is so hilariously bad that but for Gardiner's howler, would have qualified for the title of the worst book about the Titanic ever. What the author has done is collated information from various other works, added her own moronic theories and created a book that is not only full of fabrications but also almost unreadable in its style.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Butler's book Unsinkable was cheap, sensationalist and inaccurate presentation of the disaster that appeared to have been written by a man with what is commonly called a "serious attitude problem" if you get my drift.

Diane Bristow's Titanic: Sinking the Myths is so hilariously bad that but for Gardiner's howler, would have qualified for the title of the worst book about the Titanic ever. What the author has done is collated information from various other works, added her own moronic theories and created a book that is not only full of fabrications but also almost unreadable in its style.
Thoughts on magazines about the Titanic? I have one, by LIFE. It went over the movie, then the construction, sailing, and sinking of Titanic, the Carpathia's rescue of the passengers, the arrival in New York, and the story of the Passenger's and their aftermath. Then, it ends on the wreck.
 

Mike Bull2019

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At one point I had over 100 books on the subject but I have seriously cut that down over the years. Of course among those were some right howlers; I briefly owned the Gardiner book, and also Butler's; suffice to say, both are now long gone. I'm also not a fan of the obvious invention in Pellegrino's books- stern sectionon 'on fire'? Andrews smashing down doors? A passenger out on the tip of the bow? Reams of dialogue? All inventions, leaving any serious factual content difficult to sift out of the nonsense.
 
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