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A 'wow' book
on 4 September 2012
The White Star Line's Olympic is generally referred to as the sunken Titanic's sister ship. As such, she generally rates a chapter in Titanic or liner books, but rarely her own book. The first person to recognize that she deserved more was Mark Chirnside, who authored the book, 'RMS Olympic, Titanic's Sister'. Then Wade Sisson focused on Olympic's role in the Titanic disaster in, 'Racing Through the Night'. Now, we have the beautiful pictorial history, 'RMS Olympic', by noted maritime memorabilia dealer and researcher, Brian Hawley.
An inviting cover by Robert Lloyd signals to the reader that this will be a 'wow' book. As I looked at the sharp photographs that have mostly never been seen before, all I could say was, 'wow'. The generous size of the photos lying in dock or cruising through the waves makes you think you can reach out and touch the Olympic.
Well-researched anecdotes accompany each photo to provide interesting details that maybe new to the reader. Did you know the bridge wing was originally flush with the side of the ship, until a suggestion was made, possibly by Captain Smith, to provide better visibility for the officers by extending the wings over the sides?
Interior shots taken as the ship was being fitted, in service and as the ship was being dismantled show the gradual changes to keep up with the styles of the times. A rare shot shows the instructions on how to put on a lifejacket. Original sketches show the exact designs of her camouflage during World War One. Another treat is a color deck plan along with colorized interiors such as the second class dining room and third class smoking room.
Students of ocean liners will be encouraged to learn more and researchers will regard this is a great source of new information.