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Her Name, Titanic
     

Her Name, Titanic

by Charles R. Pellegrino
 

"NOT EVEN GOD HIMSELF COULD SINK THIS SHIP?

On the evening of Sunday, April 14, 1912, the awesome ocean liner Titanic-the majestic queen of the White Star fleet-struck an iceberg and quickly vanished into the frigid blackness of the North Atlantic. Seventy-three years later, a dedicated group of scientists set sail in search of the sunken behemoth-an incredible

Overview

"NOT EVEN GOD HIMSELF COULD SINK THIS SHIP?

On the evening of Sunday, April 14, 1912, the awesome ocean liner Titanic-the majestic queen of the White Star fleet-struck an iceberg and quickly vanished into the frigid blackness of the North Atlantic. Seventy-three years later, a dedicated group of scientists set sail in search of the sunken behemoth-an incredible mission that uncovered shocking secrets buried two miles below the ocean's surface.

In Her Name, Titantic, Dr. Charles Pellegrino combines two enthralling adventures in one: re-creating with breathtaking immediacy the terrible night the great ship went down...and offering a riveting, first-hand account of a remarkable expedition-and the miraculous scientific technology-that helped shed astonishing new light on the greatest seagoing disaster of the 20th century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Evolutionary biologist and spacecraft consultant Pellegrino celebrates the importance of oceanographic exploration in this personal--sometimes pretentious and repetitious--reflection on the wreck of the Titanic and the long-awaited discovery of its site 73 years later,'' remarked PW . Photos. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380708925
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/1990
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.86(h) x 0.73(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

To Dare God

The cradle lay in starlight. A cradle for giants: thick webs of iron scaffolding broad enough to enclose a half dozen cathedrals; cranes at the top, perched higher than most of the world's tallest buildings; below them, a skeleton in the shape of a ship--her name, Titanic; and below her, the Belfast shipyards of Harland and Wolff, where Thomas Andrews stood with his bride. The two were virtually invisible against the cyclopean scale of everything: propellers as wide as windmills; a rudder six stories high. To Helen Andrews the towering rows of vertical supports looked like the Industrial Age imitating the Acropolis. Here was unearthly beauty, made more unearthly and more beautiful by the apparition in the sly.

Once again Phaeton borrowed the Chariot of the Sun, driving it dangerously dose to Earth....

On this chilly spring morning in the otherwise uneventful year 1910, the thin veils of Halley's Comet glowed across half the sky. Far off to one side was a flying mountain of dirt and ice larger than the city of London, yet invisible, at m immeasurable distance, through e en the most powerful telescopes. It boiled up there. A head of vapor and dust streamed out from the nucleus inevery direction, appearing as wide as a cricket ball held out at arm's length. It was almost bright enough to read by.

"It's beautiful," Helen said.

The comet."

"Yes, that too. But the ship. Your ship.

Planting a kiss on the back of her neck, he nudged her gently; and, taking the signal, she leaned back against him. He clasped both hands around her abdomen--swollen, now, with the promise of a child. His breathing quickened. As much as he loved designing and buildingships--as much as he truly loved his work--here, bundled in his arms, was the actual center of his life.

At that moment, the center of his life was mildly worried about keeping him up too late. Surely he needed some sleep. By 6:00 A.M. her husband would be weaving his way through that modem-day Acropolis, a paint-smeared hat on his crown, grease on his boots, the pockets of his blue jacket stuffed with plans. She imagined him shouting directions over the persistent uproar of riveting tools, calling attention to the smallest details of his ship. And now, looking at the thing and knowing it to be the greatest of technology's achievements, her admiration for him went up a notch. All the more reason to see to it that he slept.

"Shouldn't we be leaving soon?" Helen said.

"Soon . . . soon . . . "

Directly overhead, a green star winked on and darted out of view behind the scaffolding. Then another. And another. Meteoritic ice lanced down from heaven--a backdrop for Titanic.

Three million rivets," said Thomas Andrews. "Three million rivets will go into her hull alone--twelve hundred tons of them."

A fantastic adventure."

Yes. We're putting four passenger elevators into her. Eight electric cargo cranes, a fifty-telephone switchboard, and the world's most modem kitchens equipped with electric freezers, ovens, and slicing, peeling, and mincing machines."

And you say she'll be unsinkable?"

Safer than a lifeboat. Yes, each ship its own lifeboat."

Something shuddered in the sky. The normally white cometary veils, swept back on a wind of reflected sunlight, were laced now with shimmering greens and blues. Helen craned her neck to kiss Thomas on the lips. She could see his face in the glow of the comet, pale, without detail.

More ice streaked down, more and more ice, scratching fire over Belfast.

Earth was deep in the tail of Halley.

Copyright ) 1988 by Charles Pellegrino

Meet the Author

Charles Pellegrino has been known to work simultaneously in entomology, forensic physics, paleo-genetics, preliminary design of advanced rocket systems, astrobiology, and marine archaeology. The author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including Unearthing Atlantis, Dust, Ghosts of the Titanic, and the New York Times bestseller Her Name, Titanic, he is the scientist whose dinosaur-cloning recipe inspired Michael Crichton's bestselling novel Jurassic Park. Dr. Pellegrino lives in New York City.

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