By Christine Salins
101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic... But Didnít!
By Tim Malton with Eloise Aston (Wakefield Press, $24.95, softcover, 300 pages)
Fact or fiction:
Titanic was on fire when she left Southampton? Yes.
Titanic was the fastest ship in the world in 1912? No.
Titanic was the largest ship in the world in 1912. Yes, but only just.
You’ve probably heard all the rumours about the Titanic, some of them myths, others true or with an element of truth.
†† Tim Maltin, an avid student of the Titanic story for 25 years, sets out in this book to dispel the myths and tell what really happened on the night the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage in April 1912.
Maltin is working on his magnum opus, the definitive account of what happened that night, but in the meantime he has produced this smaller book setting out 101 statements about the Titanic and systematically outlining a response to each one.
In the author’s own words, it is not intended to be the final word on any of the 101 points, but it’s a good read, easy to pick up and put down whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
Descriptions of individual experiences on the night of the disaster are included, along with responses to questions that were documented at the US and British inquiries into the disaster.
Maltin sets the record straight on rumours that there weren’t enough lifeboats on board (true, the open promenade decks were a selling point for the ship), that the lookouts didn’t spot the iceberg because they weren’t given binoculars (false), and that the ship was trying to take the shortest route to New York (it was in fact on a longer route).
If you happened to catch the Titanic exhibition when it was in Melbourne last year, you’ll be particularly interested to add this book to your reading list.
To find out more about Christine Salins click here.