- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (2 Jun. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552998869
- ISBN-13: 978-0552998864
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 4.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 702,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wilful Murder: The Sinking Of The Lusitania Paperback – 2 Jun 2003
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"Very good . . . Preston has done an extraordinary amount of work, particularly in tracing the memories of survivors" (The Sunday Times)
"The most comprehensive and accessible account of the sinking there has been or perhaps will be." (Alan Judd Sunday Telegraph)
"A complex story of heroism and great courage . . . compulsively readable." (Independent on Sunday)
"It is not easy, nowadays, to write an original book on the first world war . . . but Preston has succeeded." (Norman Stone The Sunday Times)
"A fitting monument to a multitudinous loss." (John Updike New Yorker)
The most comprehensive book to date to explore the tragedy of the sinking of the LusitaniaSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is comprehensively sourced and researched, covering a lot of unseen material. However, the book's true strength is its accessibility, it is objective yet highly empathic, the story telling is like a thriller and once you start reading, it is impossible to put down.
Whether you are interested in this period of history or simply looking for a facinating read about a little known episode, I would highly recommend this. You will not be disappointed.
The Ms Preston triumphs here by making the first large scale naval attack on civillians seem (in light of the current world climate) topical and relevant to today. She takes the reader through the history and development of the transatlantic ocean liners, which by the beginning of the War were at the peak of their "golden age", and submarine technology which by then was still very much in it's infancy. The details of the passengers aboard the fated voyage give the book a humanising, more immediate feel - I found myself thinking of this novel in terms of the September 11 attacks of three years ago, the worldwide revulsion at the deaths of over twelve hundred people in the sinking shocked and saddened the world then as the more recent attacks have done to us. The exploration of the political ramifications of the attack on the Lusitania for Germany, Britain and the USA are also very interesting, however I did find myself becoming a little bogged down in some of the technical detail toward the end. A great read, I look forward to reading some more of this author's work.
As I have said on several previous occasions, not all so-called authors understand the complexities of research. Such an undertaking is not just a matter of reading (perhaps translating) and understanding whatever information comes to hand and then producing an accurate and unbiased account, it is also a matter of finding that information - which might be located anywhere in the world and in any format. In the case of the Lusitania, four countries were directly involved; UK, USA, Germany and, of course, Ireland where she was sunk. Personal theories, expert analysis’, political intrigue, survivors accounts, photographs, cemeteries, newspaper articles and official findings (to mention but a small number of areas of interest) are, therefore, spread far and wide. Add to that the passage of time (with little or none of the information being readily available on the Internet), and you might just begin to appreciate the amount of work which has gone into making this book an absolute triumph of dedicated research.
With almost 600 pages ofn text plus extensive index and bibliography supported by a good selection of black and white photos, cartoons of the day and press cuttings, this is probably the most comprehensive account of the loss of the Lusitania there will ever be.Read more ›
The only, slight, criticism of the narrative is that Preston's knowledge of other ocean liners (the "Lusitania's" rivals) is a little hazy. She totally ignores the LUSITANIA's first major rival, the "Olympic," and erroneously states that the "Titanic" came into service in 1911.
Apart from that however, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Wilful Murder" tells the story of the sinking of the SS Lusitania by a German U-boat off the southern coast of Ireland on 7 May 1915. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Globe-trotter
I bought this book as it was coming up to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania and I wanted to learn more about what happened and why it happened. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lord Shigeru
I am finding this book difficult to get into as it seems to go into great depths concerning the build up of the months/years preceding the sinking of the Lusitania.Published on 18 Sept. 2014 by Mrs. Pauline Stephenson
There are several books that examine in part or whole various aspects of the loss of the Lusitania which, unlike that of the Titanic about 3 years earlier, occurred in wartime when... Read morePublished on 21 April 2014 by AJS (London)
Preston has written a comprehensive account of the "RMS Lusitania" and her well researched book is one of the most thorough and complete accounts of this tragedy on the... Read morePublished on 6 Sept. 2013 by Amazon Customer
Am very pleased with this puchase and am totally satisfied with both the book and indeed,the whole purchase process overallPublished on 4 Aug. 2013 by col.m.s. cheetham
I have just finished reading "Wilful Murder" by Diana Preston. I have an interest in reading books dealing with historical facts but approached the reading of this book with some... Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2012 by John Malcolm Burton
This book has enlightened me on the cruelties of World War I, which my school history didn't explain. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2012 by Curious Cat
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