Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town

Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town

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by John Welshman
     
 

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In his famous book A Night to Remember, historian Walter Lord described the sinking of the Titanic as 'the last night of a small town'. Now, a hundred years after her sinking, John Welshman reconstructs the fascinating individual histories of twelve of the inhabitants of this tragically short-lived floating town.

They include members of the crew; passengers in… See more details below

Overview

In his famous book A Night to Remember, historian Walter Lord described the sinking of the Titanic as 'the last night of a small town'. Now, a hundred years after her sinking, John Welshman reconstructs the fascinating individual histories of twelve of the inhabitants of this tragically short-lived floating town.

They include members of the crew; passengers in First, Second, and Third Class; women and men; adults and children; rich and poor. Among them are a ship's Captain, a Second Officer, an Assistant Wireless Operator; a Stewardess, an amateur military historian, a governess, a teacher, a domestic servant, a mother, and three children. What were their earlier histories? Who survived, and why, and who perished? And what happened to these people in the years after 1912?

Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town answers all these questions and more, while offering a minute-by-minute depiction of events aboard the doomed liner through the eyes of a broad and representative cross-section of those who sailed in her - both those who survived and those who didn't.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his newest work, Welshman (Churchill’s Children: The Evacuee Experience in Wartime Britain) “seeks to re-balance the narrative, away from First Class passengers towards the experiences of those in Second and Third.” He does so by focusing on 11 passengers and crew members plus the captain of the Carpathia, the ship that rescued the Titanic’s survivors. Using these people’s own recollections as well as their published and unpublished accounts, Welshman paints a detailed picture of the ill-fated ship’s auspicious launching, comfortable voyage, middle-of-the-night sinking, and the subsequent lives of its survivors. While his penchant for explaining each event from various perspectives often leads to repetition, Welshman writes with sensitivity that forgoes melodrama in favor of honest emotions. His prose is especially poignant when describing the quiet dignity displayed by most survivors and victims. By peppering the personal tales with historical asides about the boat’s construction and trials, the wireless telegraph, lifeboats, immigration, and the true cause of the sinking, Welshman has created an important account that humanizes one of the most oft-dramatized disasters of the 20th century. 25 b&w photos not seen by PW. (May)
From the Publisher
"As thorough and yet compassionate an account as the disaster is ever likely to have." —Open Letters Monthly

"A good read." —Library Journal

Library Journal
Welshman (history, Lancaster Univ.; Churchill's Children) takes his title from a passage in Walter Lord's A Night To Remember and focuses on 12 survivor accounts. He aims to "build upon and challenge" Lord's book and "rebalance the narrative" away from men to women, etc., but in fact he uses many of Lord's sources, and in similar ways. And can the stories of just 12 people stand for a "small town"? The concluding chapters—one on the lives of the survivors after the sinking and another on the ship's relationship to the city of Belfast—are interesting. VERDICT While this work doesn't entirely succeed in its stated purpose, and the lack of specific citations is frustrating, it is still a good read. Recommended to readers new to the subject. (Illustrations not seen.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191611735
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
03/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
824,575
File size:
5 MB

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