A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“[L]egends are part of great events, and if they help keep alive the memory of gallant self-sacrifice, they serve their purpose. “
I’ve always been fascinated by the Titanic, even before Leo and Kate somehow led so many millennials to believe it was “just a movie.” I was intrigued to find that, according to this account, much of the movie depiction of the ship’s sinking was factual.
There really was a rollicking party in steerage that night. A man really did get off the ship the same way Jack and Rose did, by standing on the ship’s stern as she nosed down toward the bottom of the sea. However, the book claims that Titanic was the first to use the internationally ratified SOS distress call (alternating it with the CQD still preferred by the British), while other reading cites several earlier instances of SOS’s use.
This perspective toward women is interesting, written in 1955: “The writing room had originally been planned partly as a place where the ladies could retire after dinner. But this was the twentieth century, and the ladies just wouldn’t retire. “ We’ve come a long way. We’ve got a long way to go yet.
Personal accounts from interviews and testimony before various official inquiries were fascinating. An interesting book, and I understand it is still considered the definitive account of the Titanic. I learned new things, and unlearned others.
One thought on “A Night to Remember by Walter Lord (Book Review)”
I’ve always been fascinated too! I was about 7 when they rediscovered the wreck and I think that spurred my imagination. I agree that A Night to Remember is considered the definitive version. My dad let me watch the film of the book when I was young and my mum told me off as it was so realistic/distressing for a young’un! I would recommend the book that Dr Robert Ballard wrote about the rediscovery of the wreck – called The Discovery of the Titanic.