Who wrote the best book about W Murdoch

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Kari Holmgren

Mar 6, 2006
Chicago IL
I have been looking around for the best book that has been written about William Murdoch. Does anyone know which is the best? Thanks

Best regards

Henry Loscher

Mar 6, 2003
Palm Harbor, Florida
> I have a copy of GOOD-BYE, GOOD LUCK by Susanne Stormer. It is a Limited > and Numbered Edition. English is not the native tongue of the author. > However, it is the best source of information about William Murdoch I have > found. Hope you can get a copy of this book. Regards, Henry Loscher
Oct 13, 2000
Kari, Susanne's book is the only biography of Murdoch that was published (the best by default?). The first version of the book was Good-Bye, Good Luck; and as Henry said, it was a limited edition, long out of print and very hard to find.

Her revised and expanded version of that book is the one Jesse mentioned. This is actually the better of the two to get as it is greatly expanded from the original version. It has a tremendous amount of research into his career in his earlier years.

Unfortunately, that book also appears to be out of print, and I tried and could not pull up Susanne's website either. I did a quick used book search and could not find any copies for sale.

Giving all that, you may want to turn to the net. His home town of Dalbeattie has a nice piece on him. Here is the link:


all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T

p.s. Actually there was another bio written by Elizabeth Gibbons, but it was, to my knowledge, never published (although part of the book was printed in the THS Commutator a few years ago).

Tad G. Fitch

Dec 13, 1999
I agree, Susanne's biography is definitely the best and the only one available other than Elizabeth Gibbons' unpublished and nearly impossible to find manuscript. Susanne really delved into his pre-Titanic career which was very interesting. If you can find a copy online, or someone willing to let you borrow theirs, I highly recommend it.

Kind regards,

Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999

Susanne's book is the only biography of Murdoch that was published (the best by default?).
Absolutely, TMIB (and the converse implied in the comment is true as well!). We've discussed the flaws and strengths of the book at some length in the past:

The question of whether there would be enough material to justify a new biography (barring the discovery of a cache of miraculous new material) is an interesting one. There are a few oral history sources that Stormer did not tap, as well as at least one important career angle, so perhaps a new biography could be justified. Mostly, however, it would be revisiting the material that authors such as Gibbons, Bristow and Stormer have already uncovered. As it is, it's questionable if there is enough to justify just one biography...Stormer is forced to extrapolate a good deal from very slim evidence.

I think the material on Murdoch should be revisited by other researchers...perhaps as part of a combination biography of the First Officer and his Titanic colleagues? This would enable us to see his life and career more fully in context.​
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