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The Titanic: Voices from the BBC Archive Audio CD – Audiobook, 12 Mar 2012


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The Titanic: Voices from the BBC Archive + A Night to Remember: The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (8 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445869284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445869285
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 12.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. V. Bradley TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If I could give this CD set 6 stars I would because it is superb. This collection of recordings from the BBC Archive, interspersed with narration by Tim Pigot Smith, really brings home both the triumph and the tragedy of the birth and death of the 'Titanic'. Whilst it must be remembered that memories can become hazy over time, the stories that the survivors have to tell are sometimes harrowing, sometimes uplifting, and sometimes angry. The confusion amongst crew members, conflicting orders being given, no boat drill before the ship sailed, too few lifeboats, preferential treatment of first class passengers, and above all the assumption fuelled by the press that the Titanic was unsinkable only served to make this tragedy worse. Corners were cut during the building of the ship as well, unsuitable rivets and cheap steel being used in areas where strength was needed most. And this where no expense was spared in the outfitting of the ship, particuarly on the first class deck. For me, one of the most memorable stories was that of Edith Russell who refused to leave without her lucky pig musical box. She pleaded with a steward to fetch it from her cabin, which he did, but she was too afraid to get into a lifeboat. However, she did go when her pig was thrown into a lifeboat and desperate not to lose it and her luck she eventually got in. This lifeboat had a number of very frightened, crying children in it which distressed her; but she remembered her pig, and although it was damaged she found it could still play its tune. She used this to amuse and quieten the children. There are many more tales of courage and some bitterness too. If any listener wishes to hear more of these stories then please log on to [...].Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. WEST-SOLEY TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 July 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The advent of sound recording has transformed the telling of history, and this brilliant oral history stands testimony to just how much.

Wonderfully remastered archive recordings have been pieced together with an unintrusive and respectful modern commentary, creating an historical document which brings the Titanic story to life like nothing else can. It's moving and often shocking, as expected, but there are also moments of very human humour - it really is a multi-dimensional look at the individual protagonists of the disaster, as well as the awful whole picture. It's an extremely rich resource, full of the personal detail only these kind of accounts can provide.

For archive footage of such an age, it's very well mastered and the quality is great. If only we had this kind of resource from ages further gone... It makes you realise how lucky we are to have the means today to create such a rich stream of historical record for future generations to enjoy. An excellent resource.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Despite looking at first sight like another anniversary cash-in, BBC Audio's two disc set turns out to be a surprisingly impressive account of the disaster drawing on first-hand accounts from interviews in the BBC archives with excellent and informative linking narration. Thus we get to hear from those who helped build the ship, passengers and crewmembers who survived the sinking, often through pure luck, and even Second Officer Lightoller admitting his unfounded confidence that the ship wouldn't sink led to passengers not taking the sinking seriously, though his absurd inflexibility in not allowing more in half-empty lifeboats and even turning away boys because of his strict interpretation of `women and children first' that needlessly cost so many lives is left to the narration to detail: at the time of his radio interview, Lightoller was still seen as the hero of the day. The gaps in the BBC's archives are filled in by sober readings from narrator Tim Piggott Smith, including the Captain of the Carpathia's genuinely moving account of the aftermath as he realised the enormity of the disaster, while filling in some of the more outrageous injustices, such as the fact that no Third Class passengers were asked to give evidence at the subsequent inquiries.

As always, it's the details that stick in the memory. Despite the White Star Line setting out to build the `largest mobile object ever created,' while lavishing money on the furnishings for First Class passengers they cut corners in obvious areas - not just the number of lifeboats or the quality of the rivets used but even failing to provide the lookouts with much-needed binoculars - while many of the crew didn't even know what was happening and just continued to go about their duties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Z. Sobol TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If this collection of personal accounts of the Titanic's story is anything to go by, then the BBC's archives must be crammed with all sorts of wonderful oral history, just waiting to be re-aired. To be fair though, this really is much more than just a collection of archived material; it has been compiled carefully, weaving the tales in and around the narratives, with great skill - clarifying all the key facts, which are then explored from personal recollections recorded over the last century.

I found that the personal memories added to the wider picture, giving real life to the factual account of the journey and accident. In addition to more detailed accounts of the other ships in the area, you are also privy the reactions of the individuals on board the Titanic, whether calm and heroic or disbelieving and eccentric. I found these very personal accounts, recorded at various points , some as early as the 1930s, to give greater depth to the facts, but at no point does it become overly sentimental or unnecessarily dramatic. There is no need to add any further drama to what is already a shocking and heart-rending tale - this is a really well balanced account and even without the recordings this would be a fantastic documentary - the archived recordings are the cherry on the cake.

I would recommend this highly, even if you have watched/listened to other documentaries lately (as many have been broadcast.) This is one which will surely become a classic, with the voices of the past coming back out of the archives to tell their tale again.
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