Victims And Villains


The History Press - 2008

Why is so much heroism attached to the sinking of the Titanic? Why do we accord impossible glory to the miserable, misbegotten drowning of the equivalent of a small town? What process led to the creation of champions? Who were the real heros, and how were they overlooked? What did society - and the press - do with an overriding need for blame? By identifying the fable-making, and finally throwing off a blanket of boasting, this book enables a fresh, sharp focus on history's most famous shipwreck. We see into the nature of prejudice, public values and political and national motives. It explores the light and the dark of what we think we know: about the engineers, the musicians, the Capitan, his officers, owners and officialdom - as well as the sinking itself and society's curious 'celebration' of abject catastrophe. It also looks at sacrificial victims, in particular the character of Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian, a man tarred with abandoning fifteen hundred people to their fate. Backed up with a new photographic archive and bolstered by a series of contemporary extracts to support its arguments, this is Titantic history presented in an entirely new and authentic light.