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by Terri Bey

The Titanic Book Club's Book of the Month of May is "Recreating Titanic and Her Sisters: A Visual History," by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton, and Bill Wormstedt. This book tells the stories of all three of the Olympic Class Ships, the RMS Titanic, the RMS Olympic, the RMS Titanic"s older sister, and the first of the class, which became a troopship during WW1 as HMT Olympic before returning to service as a passenger liner after the war, and the Britannic which became a hospital ship, HMHS Britannic. The authors tell the stories of these liners not just in print, but through beautiful artwork. The artwork is done by up-and-coming artists, such as Titanic Book Club member Tatiana Yamshanova. I have finished reading this book, I will be giving a complete review of this book.

Overall, "Recreating TItanic and Her Sisters: A Visual Sisters" by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton, and Bill Wormstedt is an amazing book. The authors do a fantastic job of describing events and telling the story of the three Olympic Class sisters, the Titanic, the Olympic, and the Britannic in print. However, what makes this book amazing is the artwork. I loved seeing all the artwork showing all three sisters at sea. The artwork of both the wrecks of the RMS Titanic and the HMHS Britannic is also outstanding and is done in such detail. The artwork just makes the viewer think that he or she is looking at the actual ship. My favorite photos are on page 63 which show the heater and the basin. The artwork done by Alexandre de Araujo Nunes is exquisite and so detailed. The recreation of the Cafe Parisien, my favorite part of the Titanic was recreated so brilliantly by Chris Walker. All the recreations of the rooms, suites, and such made me feel like I was in those places. I could easily imagine myself in that lovely Cafe' Parisien and admiring the Ivy and the reddish carpeting. The authors also highlight certain items of importance in sidebars, such as clearing up falsehoods, such as the switch theory and the ship supposedly having too small a rudder, etc.

The stories of the Olympic and the Britannic are also well done by the authors and artists. The reader clearly sees how each ship improved on the previous model, both in luxury and comfort, but especially safety, as their most famous sister, the RMS Titanic, sank on her maiden voyage on April 15, 1912. Such improvements made on the Olympic, for example, the White Star Line fixed the compartments to where if 6 compartments were flooded, the Olympic would not sink. The Titanic was doomed in part, because the iceberg cut open 5 compartments, and she only was able to float with 4 compartments flooded. The Titanic also just had a double bottom, whereas the Olympic was given a double hull.

The authors, through the artwork and through print deftly tell the story of the Olympic's two careers, one as an ocean liner and the other as a troop ship during WW1, before returning to service as an ocean liner. The reader learns about how the RMS Olympic had a 24-year-old career, but unfortunately is nearly forgotten, as her two younger sisters both sank in tragic circumstances. One of the sinkings became one of the most notorious disasters in history. The HMHS Britannic, which was commissioned into service as a hospital ship sank in 55 minutes on November 21, 1916 after striking a mine, killing 30. The aforementioned RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank the next morning in 2 hours 40 minutes, killing 1496.

The authors and artists also do a great job with the wrecks of both the Titanic and the Britannic. Both wrecks are treated with the utmost respect. The reader is made to feel like they are in a submersible looking at these wrecks. The artwork is fantastic. When I saw the artwork, I felt honored, but also sadness. I thought about the horror that those people must have gone through on both ships. Britannic victims getting killed by the rotating propeller had to have been horrible. Titanic victims dying from hypothermia or getting hit by the falling funnel is horrible, as well. As for the ships, I think they are beautiful in their own way, even though I am partial to the Titanic, which I think is the most beautiful object ever made by man. As I looked at the wrecks and the artwork, I also could not help thinking about the destruction of both beauties, and how awful and sad it was.

I totally recommend this book for beginning and experienced Titanic Enthusiasts. It was very well written and I just loved reading it. The artwork was so well done and so detailed that the reader is taken back in time. If you read the book and look at the photos, you will feel like you are on these ships. I highly recommend buying a copy.


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by Terri Bey

During my 54 years of life, I have developed many interests, several of which have become passions, such as Ludwig Van Beethoven and rock bands KISS, QUEEN, and the Beatles. I am also very passionate about opera and Thoroughbred racing, also. There is one dominant subject that has turned into an obsession for me almost my whole life. The subject is the story of the RMS Titanic.

How did this magnificent ship and her tragic story come into my life? It started when I was in about the first grade. One of my teachers had a children's magazine with a photo of a sinking ship surrounded by icebergs on the cover. I looked on what I called the "butt" or "rear end" of the ship and it read, "Titanic" and below it, "Liverpool." Yes. I was 6 years old, and had no idea that the proper name of that part of the ship was called, "the stern," so give a little break. I opened up the magazine and read the main article and read the story about the "unsinkable" Titanic going down on her maiden voyage. At that point,I started to become interested. I was wondering how a ship that was considered "unsinkable" could have sunk?

What also helped to continue my interest in the Titanic was the fact that my father remembered the disaster as a child. When I was born in 1967, my mother was 48 and my dad was 63, so throughout school, when I saw kids with their parents in their 20s and 30s, I knew I had parents who were obviously way older. Of course, the advantage I had was having parents who lived through many historical events, such as WW1, WW2, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, and of course, the sinking of the RMS Titanic. I thought it was awesome having a different perspective on historical events by being related to people who lived through them.

Anyway, my father, a May birth, was nearly 8 years old when the Titanic disaster occurred. When I went to bed, the story of the Titanic would be a favorite bedtime story. My dad would tell me the story of the Titanic repeatedly. My mother, born 7 years after the disaster, did know a bit about the disaster through old newspapers, etc. She told me about how the Titanic "was trying to break a record, and that is why she crashed into the iceberg." Of course, from reading works from TItanic researchers, many of us Titanic enthusiasts know that is not correct. Both of my parents hated Captain Stanley Lord of the Leyland Liner, the S.S. Californian, for not helping the sinking Titanic. My father went as far as calling him a "murderer."

As I got older, I also saw the classic 1958 film, "A Night to Remember" on television several times and on VHS Tape. I also read the 1955 book, written by Walter Lord,upon which the film was made. I would watch every sort of documentary that came on television shown about the Titanic. My dad even took to see "Raise the Titanic" (1980). The news of September 1, 1985 was so amazing. I could not believe it when my father told me that the Titanic was found. Seeing actual photos of the wreck of the Titanic turned me into a Titanic Enthusiast for life.

I do admit that there were periods of my life when my interest in the Titanic took a back seat, such as going to high school, and seriously studying the violin, and having other experiences as an adult. If my readers what to know, in 1997, I did see "Titanic" (1997) twice in the movies but, my interest in the story of the grand liner and her passengers had never left my mind. It was in recent years that I started becoming a die-hard Titanic enthusiast again. Besides being a member and an Admin of the Titanic Book Club, I am a member of several other Titanic-related groups, and own several Titanic-related books. I even own a block of deckwood from the RMS Olympic and two slivers of the Titanic, one sliver is from the Hull and the other is from the Third Class Bollard.

This is the story of how I became a TItanic Enthusiast.

The book that helped to start my love for the Titanic, Walter Lord's 1995 book "A Night to Remember.

The sobering reality that the RMS Titanic is doomed. From the film that started it all for me, "A Nght to Remember" (1958) based upon the 1955 Walter Lord book of the same name.

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by Terri Bey

"What a lovely thing she was." That was a line spoken by acting legend Sir Alec Guiness as "John Bigelow" from the 1980 film, "Raise the Titanic," based upon the Clive Cussler novel of the same name. In this particular scene, John Bigelow is reminiscing about his time on the Titanic, as Dirk Pitt (Richard Jordon) listens as he needs information from Bigelow about a guy who may have left England to New York on the Titanic with a mineral called Byzanium.

When I see a photo of the RMS Titanic, from her construction to her launching to her docking and sailing away, the assessment of the Titanic being "lovely" is right on the spot. The liner's striking beauty always has appealed to me, since I first saw a printed version of the famous German artist Willy Stower's painting of the sinking Titanic. There was something about the ship that I found to be beautiful, even though she was dying. I became hooked and throughout my life, I kept looking for more photos of this beautiful liner. I just can not get enough of Titanic photos. When she was discovered on September 1, 1985, I just loved all the photos of her. In my view, the RMS Titanic was the most beautiful object built by the hand of man. Even looking at photos of her as a wreck, she still has quite a bit of her beauty.

In speaking of photos, the Book of the Month for April and the subject of my blog for the Titanic Book Club Newsletter is "Titanic in Photographs" by Daniel Klistorner, Steve Hall, Bruce Beveridge, Art Braunschweiger, and Scott Andrews. This book tells the story of the RMS Titanic in photographs from her keel being laid to her sinking. In this blog, I will be reviewing the book. If I need to discuss a specific photo, I will mention the page number of the book to avoid copyright issues.

"Titanic in Photographs" is one of my favorite books about the Titanic. The authors did an amazing job combining photographs and written descriptions to tell the story of the famous liners. I had seen several photos previously, such as the photos of the launching, the engines, photos taken by Fr. Francis Brown. There were quite a few that I had not seen. I was astounded by the number of photos that were taken of the Titanic, even though she was the second ship in the "Olympic" Class of White Star Line ships. Her older sister, the RMS Olympic, was first in the new class of ships and got most of the attention and her insides were photographed more. In fact, per the book, the Olympic was painted in a lighter color, so she would look better and her size would be emphasized.

The authors went to great lengths to include photos from various collections. As I said, there were many that I hadn't seen before. One was a photo that took two pages (130-131). This photo came from Titanic painter Ken Marschall's collection. It was the RMS Titanic in her glory and showing what makes her so beautiful. I just loved her sleek design, when I look at her from this side view. What I also love is the partially enclosed A Deck, which is different from her sister, the Olympic, which has a totally open A Deck. If you look at the Titanic from the front, you can see the Bridge Wing extended, whereas the Olympic's Bridge Wing is flush. I just love the extension. There is just something about the Titanic that is special.

The authors show photos of the Titanic from the inside, even though not many photos exist from her insides. On pages 100 and 101, the reader gets to see the Cafe' Parisien. The Cafe Parisien happens to be my favorite place on the Titanic. I love the airy feeling and the wicker chairs. The Cafe' Parisien was for the younger crowd and was located on B Deck Starboard. For lack of photography, the authors include paintings of passengers on the Second Class Boat Decks, First Class Cabins in the Georgian styles, passengers using the swimming pool. The reader also sees photographs of passengers in the weight room on page 105, and photographs of First-Class State Rooms. This ship was definitely a palace.

"Titanic in Photographs" is a must-read for any Titanic enthusiast. This is a book for newcomers to the Titanic community, for casual Titanic readers, and certainly serious Titanic enthusiasts. I enjoyed seeing photos of the liner's launch from different angles, different photos of the Titanic, as she made her way out to the Atlantic Ocean from Southampton. The tragedy was covered by using photos of the Carpathia and the remaining lifeboats, but on page 151, I saw a couple of photos that I had never seen before, one a large group of stunned Titanic survivors and the other, a photo of the passengers in Lifeboat 1, Lady Duff Gordon's boat.

I will say, while admiring her beauty, both inside and out, I will never forget that even though she was and in my opinion, still is the most beautiful object built by the hand of man, it was mistakes made by man that destroyed her and killed 1496 people.

Scene: "What a lovely thing she was?" is at the 4:00 mark

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