The Ship of Dreams
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What to expect
When the Titanic sank, so did the Edwardian age that created it. In this brilliantly original history, Gareth Russell recasts a tragedy we think we know to explore an era of seismic change.
With new research and previously unseen first-hand accounts, Gareth Russell peers through the most famous portholes in the world to follow six travellers. Amongst them, a Jewish-American immigrant, an American movie star, a member of the British nobility, and a titan of industry. Setting these lives against that of the Titanic, Russell investigates social class, technological advancement, political turmoil and pioneering ambition in an age that swang between folly and brilliance, hubris and triumph.
A dramatic history of human endeavour told through extraordinary, diverse personalities, The Ship of Dreams dispels myth to revive the story of a ship that was to become symbolic of its own doomed era.
Previously published as The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World.
‘A fascinating look at life during a doomed era … Like spending time with an amusing conversationalist aboard what the Edwardians called ‘a ship of dreams’ … Russell’s social observations are sharp and witty … the wider history he presents is packed with interesting details.’
Times, Book of the Week
‘Gripping …. the attention to detail is astonishing.’
‘Engrossing … This masterly reconstruction renders the Titanic story vital again’
Mail on Sunday
‘Russell sets out to look at the night through the experiences of six first-class passengers … Russell reminds us no one thought the Titanic could sink … The belief in the infallibility of bigness is the most striking feature of Russell’s darksome failing world’
‘It is a wonderful, multi-angled view of history and grips the reader as compellingly as a pacey historical or epic movie … Russell has written a wonderful book, full of personalities, history but most of all suspense.’
‘Gareth Russell invites us into the first-class staterooms aboard the RMS Titanic and brings to life the Edwardian era and its elite—the exclusive circle of Europeans and Americans who wielded unimaginable wealth and influence on both sides of the Atlantic. Deeply researched and lushly detailed, the book shines new light on both the bygone Golden Age and the iconic tragedy that marked the beginning of its end.’ Lynn Vincent, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Indianapolis
‘This absorbing account proves that there are many levels to the endless fascination of the Titanic story … Gareth Russell skilfully constructs an eloquent and gripping narrative that is essentially a microcosm of the moribund Edwardian class system that would go down with the Titanic and finally be obliterated by war in 1914.’ Helen Rappaport, author of Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses
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