The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era

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Gareth Russell’s masterful work The Ship of Dreams offers a rich and complex canvas of humanity and history. By seeing the great seas disaster through the eyes of a handful of passengers, the author is able to provide more insight and more vivid imagery than the typical Titanic book. It is so meticulously researched, and the characters are so vibrant and fully formed that it breezes along with the same caviar impulses of the Edwardian age.

The time of tragic inequalities and the lucky fortune of birth are showcased quite clearly. Everyone knows the story of the ship and the morality story that unfolded on its decks that dark April night. But what many people don’t know is the atmosphere of the era and the climate of blind faith in technology that allowed the largest man-made object to run head first into an iceberg. The cold detached manner in which people are relegated into class and the space on lifeboats is given mostly based on chance.

This is not a merit based world. But it is a time of social graces and a sense of collective progress. Russell takes these common themes and paints a narrative that manages to do honor to the history of the event and the lives of its passengers.

Since 1955, the Titanic fan’s Bible has been A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. Each successive Titanic biographer has tried and largely failed to equal Lord’s great work. The strength of Russell is not that he succeed in eclipsing Lord, but rather that he managed to moved beyond him by retelling the fabled tale while taking it out of the deep shadow it casts.


Reviewed By:

Author Mr. Gareth Russell
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 448 pages
Publisher Atria Books
Publish Date 2019-11-19
ISBN 9781501176722
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category History
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