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Book Review: Great Passenger Ships by William H. Miller

7th October 2011
Book Review: Great Passenger Ships by William H. Miller
Great Passenger Ships 1910 – 1920 by William H. Miller is a celebration of the grand age of maritime creation. Published October 2011, this £19.99 paperback includes the ill-fated Titanic, as well as Aquitania, Lusitania and Mauretania.

The decade 1910–20 was truly dramatic. It was an age of evolution, when size and speed were almost the ultimate considerations – it was the Industrial Age reaching for new heights, new dimensions, breaking records. In response ocean liners were becoming bigger, longer, taller and faster. The larger liners were certainly becoming grander, it was the age of the 'floating palace'. The Olympic, Titanic and Britannic; Lusitania, Mauretania and Aquitania; the France; and the Vaterland, Imperator and Bismarck are among the greatest and most loved liners, the apotheosis of twentieth-century builders' and decorators' craft, floating ambassadors of national pride.

It all changed, however as the First World War erupted. Commercial trading was all but suspended completely and instead ships took on new roles. Consuming nearly half of the decade, the First World War transformed luxurious liners into sombre hospital ships, armed merchant cruisers, troop transports – and victims of torpedoes and mines.

· A journey through a time of triumph and tragedy, optimism and loss, progress and setback.

· Featuring mainly previously unpublished images.

Bill Miller, or 'Mr Ocean Liner', has written 70 books on passenger ships and is an acknowledged world expert in his field. He has received the National Maritime History Award in the US, the Silver Ribband Award and he created the passenger ship database for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Along with appearing in numerous TV documentaries & news broadcasts, he has been a guest lecturer aboard some 75 different ships, including over 100 voyages with the Cunard Line. He has sailed on over 350 voyages on some 300 ships.

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