Personally, I rate Dr Ballard's books; The Discovery of the Titanic, Lost ships of Guadalcanal, Return to Midway and Exploring the Lusitania as some of the finest works on the subject of shipwrecks ever to have been published. On this occasion, however, I am left with a feeling of disappointment at finding such a thin book.
Perhaps anything short of the discovery of another Titanic would always be a disappointment to some - but let us examine the content. Firstly, we have 5 of the world's greatest ever shipwrecks; Titanic, Empress of Ireland, Lusitania, Britannic and Andrea Doria. Each of these vessels was a great ship in its own right and their like will never be seen again. Indeed, entire books have been written about each of them - by this author and by others. As with all great shipwreck stories, there is always an element of mystery - arguments for and against the mine versus torpedo theory for example. Those arguments, in addition to all the many other elements of the overall picture, must always be fully presented and reasoned in order to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
In this book, the text, photography and excellent (as always) illustrations by Ken Marschall are confined to 56 pages. Quite frankly, that is not enough room for any single great shipwreck - let alone five! Easy to see why I was left wanting more.
on 10 December 2000
This beautiful book, written in typical Robert D. Ballard style and beautifully illustrated by period photographs and the paintings of Ken Marschall details the history of some of the greatest liners ever to sail. It includes ships which were once household names - Lusitania, Mauretania, Olympic, Titanic and Britannic - and tells us of their fates. It is written in such a way that you can almost imagine yourself there on deck with the other passengers. Not content with these well known leviathans of the ocean, Ballard brings the book up to date with the inclusion of the more glamourous liners of the '40's and 50's - Normandie, Queen Mary, and the ill fated Andrea Doria. If you ever wondered what happened to these wonderful ships, this book will take you on a guided tour, from shipyard to their current resting place on the dark ocean floor. This book is a must have for anyone with an interest in maritime history.
on 3 April 2010
This is a most beautiful book with many unseen paintings of the lost liners from the golden age, which ironically have outlasted many of their contemporaries which were otherwise scrapped, except for the RMS Queen Mary. I would highly recommend this book for the collection of any maritime enthusiast!