As a shipwreck historian, I am fully aware of the value of thorough research. It is a process which takes those who seek information into just about any building anywhere in the world. This is because the answers are not always found within the walls of maritime museums, libraries, schools and private collections. Of course, hundreds of books have been written about the Titanic and there are many more about shipwrecks in which this particular tragedy is featured. Naturally, amongst these, overall standards vary widely.
And now we have yet another work on this, the world's most famous shipwreck and, whilst I cannot claim to have read all the others, I would suggest this is easily the most outstanding of all.
Why? Firstly, I have been truly impressed with the overall quality of the product itself and actually marvelled at the way in which it has been put together. This is a large format book which fits neatly into a box case. With high quality colour images on every page, several have either a hidden pocket or a taped-on envelope containing some little gem of information. Whereas other works often included a menu or telegram reproduced just like any picture is published in a book, here we have details never previously seen - such as a series of letters asking a British TV company not to screen one particular film version of the disaster because it inaccurately portrayed some of those who died and we are able to remove these treasures and inspect them as separate documents.
With all manner of peripheral forms, letters, genuine postcards and much more besides, not only does it all combine to provide the reader with a thorough appreciation of the painstaking research which has gone into the making of this book, but all that research is enclosed for us to inspect.
Just inside the book's front cover we also find an audio CD containing several first hand accounts which come together to cover the life and death of this amazing vessel. From the ship builder's son who recounts how he watched the Titanic sail out to sea as a boy, to the man who wondered where the ice had come from, to the personal stories of those who survived, they all make compelling listening. All things considered, this work creates a new definition of the word "complete!"
For those who require the best possible assessment of the Titanic story, this is the only work you need ever consider. You will not be disappointed.