When the RMS Titanic –the ultimate symbol of a hopeful and ambitious time when anything seemed possible — struck an iceberg and sank during her maiden trans-Atlantic voyage on April 15, 1912, the world was stunned and a legend was born that continues to fascinate and enthrall a century later.
The remarkable stories of the Titanic — moving tales of heroism, cowardice, tragedy and triumph — as well as vivid photos that bring these resonant real-life dramas to life are featured in TITANIC: The Tragedy That Shook the World (Time Home Entertainment, Inc.; Hardcover; $29.95), available in bookstores everywhere or at life.com/books/titanic.
The saga of the ill-fated luxury liner unfolds in photos and narrative in over 140 pages in this deluxe book. It begins with the construction of a behemoth, one of three enormous sister ships built by the White Star line to usher in a new era of sea-going luxury. The Titanic offered the finest accommodations to its first-class passengers, who included some of New York’s most notable social figures, from Astor to Guggenheim. Also on board, in the lower decks, were commoners and crew whose onboard experience was far less glamorous. Just four days into their voyage, that segregation would end as all were brought together in tragedy.
TITANIC: The Tragedy That Shook the World chronicles the ship’s rapid descent into the icy Atlantic, botched distress communications and the horror as thousands of passengers and crew realized that there were not nearly enough lifeboats to save them all. It also looks at the dramatic rescue of hundreds of passengers by the nearby ship Carpathia, whose captain emerged as one of the most visible heroes of this great tragedy.
Although there are no photographs of the Titanic disaster, there is a remarkable record of images of the ship’s final days thanks to Irish cleric and vocational photographer Father Frank Browne. His photos as a passenger aboard the doomed vessel, many of which are featured in the book, offer an intimate depiction of what life was like aboard the Titanic before it met its ultimate fate.
A flurry of published remembrances from survivors of the Titanic disaster were just the beginning of what would be a continuous stream of journalistic and artistic interpretations of the Titanic tragedy. TITANIC: The Tragedy That Shook the World looks at how the Titanic has been depicted in books, plays, Broadway musicals and films, from A Night to Remember to the upcoming release of James Cameron’s Titanic in 3-D.
The final chapter, “At Rest,” features recent images of the ship in its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic, a remote memorial to a tragedy that somehow still feels entirely immediate.