A fascinating read published in May 1912, only 37 days after the disaster, this elegant work by a journalist is still fresh to those of us who 'know' the story through countless TV documentaries and the film by James Cameron. How clever of Kindle to offer this freely in centenary year. We follow in the footsteps of an ideal voyager as he tours and the `monstrous scale' of 'the largest ship in the world' is itemised, from the 15 tons of the central anchor to the 90,000 pieces of china, glass, cutlery and plate.
The great bulkheads of the ship are explained and the stability of the ship. But the pace and the intensity of the story increases after the collision at 'twenty minutes to twelve' until 'twenty minutes past two when she sank'.
The 'fool's paradise' of the Titanic we are told has a lesson for us all: 'there is nothing that man can build that nature cannot destroy'. Yet there is heroism here in the stokers, stewards and seamen who carried out their duties to the end, (note the fine work of the Marconi men, Phillips and Bride, and radio's place in saving lives). 'A Table' at the end of passengers and crew 'carried, lost and saved' is stark and very informative. Kindle and e-books breathes new life into this contemporary source.