Starting from its original conception and design by the owners and naval architects at the White Star Line through construction at Harland and Wolff's shipyards in Belfast, Nick Barratt explores the pre-history of theTitanic. He examines the aspirations of the owners, the realities of construction and the anticipation of the first sea-tests, revealing that the seeds of disaster were sown by the failure to implement sealed bulkheads - for which the original plans are now available. Barratt then looks at what it was like to embark on the Titanic's maiden voyage in April 1912. The lives of various passengers are examined in more detail, from the first class aristocrats enjoying all the trappings of privilege, to the families in third-class and steerage who simply sought to leave Britain for a better life in America. Similarly, the stories of representatives from the White Star Line who were present, as well as members of the crew, are told in their own words to give a very different perspective of the voyage.
Finally, the book examines the disaster itself, when Titanic struck the iceberg on 14 April and sunk hours later. Survivors from passengers and crew explain what happened, taking you back in time to the full horror of that freezing Atlantic night when up to 1,520 people perished. The tragedy is also examined from the official boards of enquiry, and its aftermath placed in a historic context - the damage to British prestige and pride, and the changes to maritime law to ensure such an event never took place again. The book concludes by looking at the impact on those who escaped, and what became of them in the ensuing years; and includes the words of the last living survivor, Millvina Dean.
Author: Nick Barratt
Dr Nick Barratt is a medieval historian by trade, gaining a PhD from Kings College London. He worked at the Public Record Office - now the National Archives - for several years, before moving to the BBC as a specialist researcher, and established Sticks Research Agency. His research credits include House Detectives, Seven Wonders of the Industrial World and Who Do You Think You Are? which he also presented. He is currently a director of Firebird Media and is on the National Executive of the Federation of Family History Societies. He works as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph and has published several books on house and family history.
Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History