The Titanic

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, we wrote a series of articles all about the Titanic. We focused on Titanic the ship, as opposed to, say, Titanic the movie or the adjective “titanic” (although we did milk puns related to the latter for all they were worth – our apologies). We covered every angle we could think of about the Titanic, writing articles on the major areas that Titanic aficionados are interested in, like the Titanic sinking, the history of the Titanic, and the Titanic passengers, and we also covered some of the more auxiliary topics related to the ship, like Titanic museums and the Titanic II, a replica of the original vessel that will be a fully operational cruise ship. In this article, we wanted to provide a recap of our coverage and link to all the articles we’ve been busy writing all about the Titanic. If we are all about cruises in general, we’ve been all about the Titanic over the last few weeks.

We began our coverage, as only seemed fitting and proper, by writing about the central event of the Titanic story, namely, the sinking of the Titanic, which we published 100 years after the original disaster to the day. The article detailed the events leading up to and on April 14, 1912, the most infamous day in the history of passenger liners, and toward the end we waxed poetic discussing the meaning of the Titanic sinking and the lessons it has taught us. To put this article in more context, we then wrote about the history of the Titanic, describing how the ship came to be, including information about where it was built and the business decisions that gave rise its creation.

When it set sail on its maiden voyage, the Titanic was the biggest ship in the world, and although there are now far larger cruise ships in existence, the Titanic is still a marvel of shipbuilding. To help emphasize this, we wrote an article about the Titanic ship itself, which included information about its dimensions, layout, and the materials out of which it was made. Later in our series, we wrote about the Titanic II, a replica of the ship that will be almost identical to the original Titanic. The project is being financed by the Australian business man Clive Palmer, who anticipates having the ship operational in a few years. Its first voyage will be from England to New York, exactly like the planned maiden voyage of the original Titanic. After considering the details of the Titanic ship in such detail, we couldn’t help but imagine what taking a cruise on the Titanic might have been like. This day dream was converted into an article, one that speculated about the similarities and difference between taking a cruise on the Titanic and taking a cruise on a modern ship.

As we tried to emphasize throughout our series, the Titanic story is first and foremost a tragedy about the death of human beings. If the Titanic were a play, the cries of the doomed passengers should serve as the voice of the main actor. Although we wrote about who is to blame for the Titanic sinking and the hubris with which the ship was built, the enormous loss of human life is what is worth remembering most. That over 1,500 people died is the plain fact of the matter, and in large part this ought to be reflected on by itself, divorced from any other factors that complicate our view of those who survived and those who perished. But complications there are, and for this reason it is necessary to consider the utter unfairness that classified a given passenger’s survival prospects on board the ship. In an article about the Titanic passengers, we explore this unfairness, noting the alarming degree to which class, gender, and age determined who on board the ship had the good fortune of surviving the wreck.

The Titanic story intersects with the lives of several significant historical figures, ranging from the famous banker J.P. Morgan, who happened to cancel his trip on the Titanic at the last minute, to J. Bruce Ismay, the much maligned managing director of White Star Line (the shipping company that owned the Titanic), who survived the wreck and was therefore shunned ever after. Such figures are mentioned in our article about the notable passengers on board the Titanic. One of the other major figures associated with the ship is of course the Titanic’s captain, Edward John Smith, to whom we dedicated an entire article. Smith’s story is deeply tragic in many ways. He was one of the finest captains of his generation, which is precisely why he was asked to command the Titanic, but he will forever be associated with the great ship that sank on his watch, even though it is not at all clear how much of the disaster’s blame rests on his shoulders. Along with his reputation, he went down with the ship.

To conclude our coverage, we wrote several articles about topics that are related to the Titanic, but aren’t specifically about the actual ship itself or its sinking. We wrote about the important locations associated with the Titanic, including of course the place at which the ship collided with the iceberg. Speaking of the iceberg, we wrote about this neglected player in the Titanic story. This floating mass of ice is as important as any other component of the Titanic wreck, so we figured the iceberg deserved its own article. Additionally, like any major historical event, the Titanic wreck has both a museum and multiple conspiracies dedicated to it. With respect to the former, a huge museum was recently built in Belfast (where the Titanic was built) that covers every aspect of the Titanic in extraordinary detail. In our article about the museum, which is named Titanic Belfast, we discuss the world-class architecture of this building and some of the educational resources that the museum provides to visitors. As concerns the conspiracies, there are several. We discuss the three main Titanic conspiracy theories in our article about this topic, covering two that make modest claims that aren’t particularly unreasonable, as well as one other that tells a fantastic tale centering on insurance fraud.

The Titanic story is a tale that keeps on giving. From start to finish, it is the stuff of captivating narrative. We wrote 13 articles all about the Titanic, covering every major topic of interest we could dream up, and we still feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. We stand by the thoroughness of our treatment of the subject, but don’t be surprised if you periodically see another article on this site about the Titanic.

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