Hearing about The Titanic is unavoidable this year, as the weather outside gets sunnier, the images on our screens and on our bookshelves get icier. With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on the night of April 14th, books on the subject are swamping the market with sales for Titanic books and films remaining far more buoyant than their tragic namesake.
With Julian Fellowes current Titanic mini-series dividing the critics and a flurry of new exhibitions on the Titanic, the ship remains relevant 100 years later. Indeed the cultural impact of the sinking of the Titanic cannot be underestimated, with the new Titanic exhibition in Dublin already selling out to school groups until next year. Legions of fans are also eagerly awaiting the 3D re-launch of James Cameron’s classic movie Titanic, having sobbed from the first sighting of the ship to the final strains of Celine Dion’s stirring theme tune they remain, ten years later, enraptured by Rose and Jack’s romance, proving there is something about the doomed vessel that lives on in the cultural zeitgeist.
This defining disaster in naval history forced the introduction of new maritime safety laws and was a shocking reinforcement of class differences in society with vast dissimilarities in death rates between first and third class. Although it is only the tip of the iceberg of Titanic books, these four titles offer radically different views of the voyage.
Viking, 9780670012435 h/b £13.99
By Barry Denenberg
A beautifully presented book to interest children and adults alike. With meticulously researched articles presented in the format of a roundup from the fictitious Modern Times along with journal entries, statistics and original photos this immersive book plunges the reader into the world of Titanic. Denenberg offers not only a personal insight into this horrific event but also provides answers to the conspiracy theories that circulate to this day.
101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic…But Didn’t
Tim Maltin, 9780957139008, p/b £8.99
By Tim Maltin
Disputing all those established facts that have sunk into cultural history this examination of evidence from the Titanic finally presents the true answers to questions such as whether Titanic was attempting to win the Blue Riband for fastest crossing of the Atlantic to exactly what happened in those crucial moments when the ship struck the iceberg to the intriguing and shocking attempts by passengers to save themselves.
Arsenal Pulp Press, 9781551524429, p/b £10.99
By Billeh Nickerson
For a different take on life on the Titanic, this collection of poetry by Billeh Nickerson is based on the characters on-board the Titanic and the events that befell them. Nickerson gently leads us through the chronology of the Titanic, from its construction to the death of the last survivor. These sensitively researched poems are told in sparse language which serves to highlight the emotional impact.
What Really Sank the Titanic: New Forensic Discoveries
Citadel, 9780806528960, p/b £10.99
By Jennifer Hooper McCarty and Tim Foecke
This investigation into What Really Sank the Titanic offers a scientific breakdown of the forensic evidence from the wreck of the Titanic and new scientific knowledge that provides a fresh insight into to what caused the sinking, how vulnerabilities were overlooked and how this apparant marvel of engineering was simply a disaster waiting to happen.