The Titanic: The History and Legacy of the World’s Most Famous Ship from 1907 to Today

Written by Charles River Editors
Category: · History

*Includes dozens of pictures
*Describes the construction of the Titanic, life aboard the ship during its maiden voyage, the sinking of the ship, rescue efforts, and the discovery and exploration of the wreck
*Includes accounts written by passengers, crew members, White Star Line officials, and explorers of the wreck
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

“I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel.” – Captain Edward J. Smith

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, starting a chain of events that would ultimately make it history’s most famous, and notorious, ship. In the over 100 years since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner. Thanks to the dramatization of the Titanic’s sinking and the undying interest in the story, millions of people are familiar with various aspects of the ship’s demise, and the nearly 1,500 people who died in the North Atlantic in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. The sinking of the ship is still nearly as controversial now as it was over 100 years ago, and the drama is just as compelling.

The Titanic was neither the first nor last big ship to sink, so it’s clear that much of its appeal stems from the nature of ship itself. Indeed, the Titanic stands out not just for its end but for its beginning, specifically the fact that it was the most luxurious passenger ship ever built at the time. In addition to the time it took to come up with the design, the giant ship took a full three years to build, and no effort or cost was spared to outfit the Titanic in the most lavish ways. Given that the Titanic was over 100 feet tall, nearly 900 feet long, and over 90 feet wide, it’s obvious that those who built her and provided all of its famous amenities had plenty of work to do. The massive ship was carrying thousands of passengers and crew members, each with their own experiences on board, and the various amenities offered among the different classes of passengers ensured that life on some decks of the ship was quite different than life on others.

Almost everyone is familiar with what happened to the Titanic during its maiden voyage and the tragedy that followed, but the construction of the Titanic is often overlooked, despite being an amazing story itself, one that combined comfort and raw power with the world’s foremost technological advances. Nonetheless, the seeds of the Titanic’s destruction were sown even before it left for its first and last journey.

Similarly, the drama involved with the sinking of the Titanic often obscures the important aftermath of the disaster, particularly the several investigations conducted on both sides of the Atlantic that sought to figure out not only why the Titanic sank but future changes that could be made in order to protect ships and passengers in the future. In fact, the course of the investigations was interesting in itself, especially since the British and Americans reached wildly different conclusions about what went wrong and led to the ship’s demise.

The Titanic examines the entire history and legacy of the ship, from its construction to its sinking, as well as the investigations and changes that followed, the discovery of the wreck in 1985, and even the current events surrounding the ship. Along the way, life aboard the Titanic is analyzed through passengers’ accounts, as are the tales of survival and death that continue to resonate. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Titanic like never before, in no time at all.

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