The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the “Titanic” and the End of the Edwardian Era

By Gareth Russell

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.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 04 Apr 2019
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-826317-1
Gareth Russell read Modern History at St Peter’s College at the University of Oxford and completed his postgraduate atQueen’s University, Belfast with a study of Catherine Howard’s household. He has written for the Sunday Times, Tatler and the Irish News and is the author of two novels set in his native Belfast and several books on royal history. He divides his time between Belfast and New York.

‘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 -

”'Gripping …. the attention to detail is astonishing.” - Sunday Times

”'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” - Daily Telegraph

”'Brilliantly narrates the story of the Titanic … with admirable research and rhetoric … Anyone fascinated by Erik Larson's Dead Wake or by James Cameron's Titanic will be drawn in by Russell's well-crafted wit and reportage.” - Publishers Weekly

”'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.” - Independent

”'Mr. Russell’s conceit works magnificently … Debunks many of the conspiratorial myths promoted over the decades.” - Wall Street Journal

”'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

”'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