"Titanic: Minute by Minute" by Jonathan Mayo & "Titanic Lives" by Richard Davenport-Hines


Seumas

Member
Would anyone like to cast an opinion on these two (fairly recent) Titanic books ?

Are they i) nothing new and full of errors or ii) a refreshing new take and pretty accurate ?

They caught my eye and I was considering buying them but I thought I would take the opportunity get the opinion of the experts first ;)
 

gabrielfsd

Member
Hello everybody. I was reading the book "Titanic: Minute to Minute" by Jonathan Mayo when I came across a brief mention of a Brazilian little boy handing a piece of the iceberg to another passenger. The book doesn't say his name. As I'm Brazilian, I was also curious to know if there really were any of us on board. I looked at the passenger list but there is no Brazilian, only one passenger who was headed to Sao Paulo, Brazil but he was born in Portugal. So is the book wrong? It wouldn't be the first mistake since the first page shows a photo of the Titanic dated April 19, 1912. Or does this book have some parts that are fiction? Thanks.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
I'm Brazilian, I was also curious to know if there really were any of us on board
I checked and it does not look like there was any bona fide Brazilian passenger or crew member on board the Titanic.

I too have a copy of Titanic: Minute by Minute. It is interestingly written but is rather lightweight in terms of new information or even conjecture. It is a conglomeration of material from other sources edited in a rough chronological manner.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Very interesting. His ET bio says that Mr de Brito was born in Portugal but had lived and worked in Sao Paulo before his ill-fated Titanic voyage. Also, he had family in that city. Would that make him part-Brazilian?
 

gabrielfsd

Member
When I looked in the passenger list I indeed saw this Mr. Jose Joaquim de Brito. But he is an adult and the book mentions a Brazilian LITTLE boy. I guess it was a book mistake then.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
After returning to the UK, I read this book again and while it is well written with an interesting perspective, the author has simply collated bits of information from various other Titanic works, some of which have been re-evaluated (for lack of a better word) over time. For example, Mayo mentions "Chief Night Baker" Walter Belford and his 'rolling rolls' but it is now known that Walter Lord was fooled into beieving by Belford that the latter was a genuine Titanic survivor. Also, Mayo takes quite a few liberties with the Titanic's Officers' movements and activities, some of which goes against available evidence.

At best it is a readable little book but certaily not a reserach tool by any stretch of imagination.
 

Seumas

Member
Took over two years to get the discussion going, but hey, better late than never ! :D

I have since read both books. As Arun says, Mayo's sticks to basic stuff and has a number of errors. It could still prove to be a useful primer for a friend who is keen to begin learning about RMS Titanic and wants to start with nothing too overwhelming.

Davenport-Hines book was well worth a read. It does have a few wee errors, but nothing major. As well as telling the story of the Titanic disaster, it delves deeply into the social, economic and political background of 1912 which many histories tend to skim over.
 
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Took over two years to get the discussion going, but hey, better late than never ! :D

I have since read both books. As Arun says, Mayo's sticks to basic stuff and has a number of errors. It could still prove to be a useful primer for a friend who is keen to begin learning about RMS Titanic and wants to start with nothing too overwhelming.

Davenport-Hines book was well worth a read. It does have a few wee errors, but nothing major. As well as telling the story of the Titanic disaster, it delves deeply into the social, economic and political background of 1912 which many histories tend to skim over.
That sounds like something that would be interesting to read. As to the earlier discussion of Mr de Brito sounds like the confusion probably came from his destination being Brazil. From his bio here on ET he certainly seemed to get around as far as work goes. Italy, England, Portugal, Brazil. Maybe some of his family were naturalized citizens of Brazil. Says his father lived there.
P.S...I went and looked at that book and saw he wrote another one on Titanic also.
 
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Seumas

Member
That sounds like something that would be interesting to read. As to the earlier discussion of Mr de Brito sounds like the confusion probably came from his destination being Brazil. From his bio here on ET he certainly seemed to get around as far as work goes. Italy, England, Portugal, Brazil. Maybe some of his family were naturalized citizens of Brazil. Says his father lived there.
P.S...I went and looked at that book and saw he wrote another one on Titanic also.
Is that "Titanic Voyagers" by Davenport-Hines your thinking of ? It's just his "Titanic Lives" but with a different title for the US market.

They did the same thing with Michael Davies underrated Titanic book as well. Different titles in different countries.
 
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Is that "Titanic Voyagers" by Davenport-Hines your thinking of ? It's just his "Titanic Lives" but with a different title for the US market.

They did the same thing with Michael Davies underrated Titanic book as well. Different titles in different countries.
Yes that was the one. I looked at the "Lives" on the UK Amazon site and then saw the other one on the US Amazon site. It had a different description. Thanks for pointing that out. They fooled me. Some of his other books look interesting too. Cheers.
 
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