Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An Addition for Griff's Collection

My husband, Griff, has a fairly extensive library of Titanic material which includes books, paintings, and other ephemera but he is always on the lookout for something new.

A new title by Brad Matson tells the story of shadow divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, as they investigate one of the most puzzling questions about what happened that freezing April night. Why did the Titanic sink so quickly?

From the publisher:
Titanic's Last Secrets is a rollercoaster ride through the shipbuilding history, the transatlantic luxury liner business, and shipwreck forensics. Chatterton and Kohler weave their way through a labyrinth of clues to discover that Titanic was not the strong, heroic ship the world thought she was and that the men who built her covered up her flaws when disaster struck. If Titanic had remained afloat for just two hours longer than she did, more than two thousand people would have lived instead of died, and the myth of the great ship would be one of rescue instead of tragedy.

I know what Griff is getting for Christmas!

Buy this book!


Sam said...

Wow I love those kinds of stories and histories, Joni.

I had heard that the Titanic shipyard had run out of rivets and got substandard ones, perhaps leading to the rapid sinking. But why the captain didn't slow the ship and head more southerly in a known ice field is something of a mystery.

There are many treasure still being found today. The largest find of Spanish gold is currently on hold because of international disputes - Spain claims the money and the wreck as a "monument." Fascinating stuff

Joni said...

I hadn't heard about the rivets, I will need to ask Griff if he is familiar with that theory. The captain was feeling the pressure to make the trip in record time to satisfy the White Star Line officials.

In 1996, I had the wonderful opportunity of going on a trip with a group of Titanic enthusiasts, and we took a cruise ship to the location and were able to observe as a research vessel coordinated a number of dives with their little submarine pods. They were set up with cameras and we could watch what was happening in real time aboard our cruise ship. There were several scholars aboard who gave some marvelous lectures, but I have forgotten much of what I learned.

This was sponsored by the recovery organization which has since organized the traveling Titanic exhibit. But, like the example you cite, I think much of the subsequent work on the Titanic recovery has been tied up in court and continues to be the subject of contention over recovery versus hallowed ground and ownership rights.

It is a fascinating story.