This is the sort of book that makes me realise i would never want a Kindle,that same feeling you get holding one of Seaforths Friedmans,pride of ownership you might say,the book covers the history of White Star and gives the career of each ship,more than just Titanic,the production quality is very good,the paper used ensures reproduction of the many photographs is of a very high standard ,Mr De Kerbrech spent some time on this book and it shows,i have spent a lot more for a lot less,recommended.
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I was at once encouraged to see that this book is published by Ian Allan, the British 'enthusiasts publisher' of long and honourable standing. I was not disappointed. For every ship we are given tonnage and key dimensions, engine type and power, speed and the number of passengers in each class. However, this is not just a reference book: Mr Kerbrech has really researched his subject and he possesses an absorbing narrative style. Although the more 'important' ships receive greatest coverage this is not taken to excess- for example 'Teutonic' reeives six pages and 'Titanic' only five. Most of the major ships are described in two or three double column pages. Reading about the 'Atlantic' and her disastrous demise I learned things about the subsequent enquiries that I did not find in a 170 page book devoted entirely to it.
With only a few minor exceptions there is at least one photograph of each ship. There are drawings to demonstrate advances in machinery design and illustrations showing the public areas of some later ships- though I would have liked a few more of those.
I was expecting a reference book about ships but received much more than that. Companies usually become successful due to the efforts of the interesting and forceful personalities of the people who run them and that was certainly true of White Star. Mr Kerbrech delves into general history and both the original formation of the company by T.M.Ismay and its later absorption into the International Mercantile Marine are well covered. The successful negotiations between Cunard and the British Government to keep Cunard out of the IMM combine are also described in fascinating detail.
This is a quality product as well s a good read.Read more ›
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The book traces the history of the White Star Line, that once owned the Titanic,through the 89 ships from 1869 to 1934. Each ship is dealt with in a potted career and illustrated where possible.The company's progress and it's advances in Naval Architecture and marine engineering are set against the backdrop of cultural and political events,both domestic and global which affected its fortunes.The arduous and back-breaking conditions of the stokeholod crew during the coal burning era are also dealt with in some small detail. The demise of the Company following the high building costs of shipping after WW1 and the onset of the Great Depression forced the Company to merge with its rival,Cunard,in 1934.The publication is on 240, A4 high quality paper and is illustrtated with some 250 images some previously unpublished.These black & white photos give the book a somewhat Gothic feel that adds to its appeal before.Nautilus Uk's journal The Telegraph said in their review 'Top rate history of a company...' while the World Ship Society rated it as 'Very good value for money'-and it is.
I started to read the book from the beginning and came across a reference to the Nomadic on page 5. I have a personal acquaintance with the Nomadic so I thumbed to the back of the book to see if there were any further references. I was amazed/annoyed to see that there is no index at all. Surely a book as detailed as this should have an index; without one this book is a waste of money. I am not prepared to make up my own list of references as I read the book.