• The Ship of Dreams

  • The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era
  • By: Mr. Gareth Russell
  • Narrated by: Jenny Funnell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

This original and “meticulously researched retelling of history’s most infamous voyage” (Denise Kiernan, New York Times best-selling author) uses the sinking of the Titanic as a prism through which to examine the end of the Edwardian era and the seismic shift modernity brought to the Western world. 

“While there are many Titanic books, this is one readers will consider a favorite” (Voyage). 

In April 1912, six notable people were among those privileged to experience the height of luxury - first-class passage on “the ship of dreams”, the RMS Titanic: Lucy Leslie, countess of Rothes; son of the British Empire Tommy Andrews; American captain of industry John Thayer and his son, Jack; Jewish American immigrant Ida Straus; and American model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Within a week of setting sail, they were all caught up in the horrifying disaster of the Titanic’s sinking, one of the biggest news stories of the century. Today, we can see their stories and the Titanic’s voyage as the beginning of the end of the established hierarchy of the Edwardian era.

Writing in his signature elegant prose and using previously unpublished sources, deck plans, journal entries, and surviving artifacts, Gareth Russell peers through the portholes of these first-class travelers to immerse us in a time of unprecedented change in British and American history. Through their intertwining lives, he examines social, technological, political, and economic forces such as the nuances of the British class system, the explosion of competition in the shipping trade, the birth of the movie industry, the Irish Home Rule Crisis, and the Jewish American immigrant experience while also recounting their intimate stories of bravery, tragedy, and selflessness.

This is “a beautiful requiem” (The Wall Street Journal) in which “readers get the story of this particular floating Tower of Babel in riveting detail, and with all the wider context they could want” (Christian Science Monitor). 

©2019 Gareth Russell (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Ship of Dreams

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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One of my favorites

I'm definitely a history buff and Titanic researcher. This is one of my favorite books on the TItanic disaster because it discusses in a good bit of detail some of the people involved, the time period, what was happening in history, some of the politics of the day, and how a lot of this all came together on one fateful night. If you're interested in a little more than the ship and how it sank, this might be one you'll enjoy.

9 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyed It

Gareth Russell manages to find a fresh perspective and an interesting focus for a much picked over subject. He writes well and succinctly, and at the same time breathes life into a fading past with vibrant anecdotes. Jenny Funnell's narration is the perfect compliment to the book. I enjoyed it so much I plan to listen to Russell's book Young & Damned & Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard - which is a subject I would not normally lean toward. As far as I am concerned Mr. Rusell and Ms. Funnell get full marks. Bravo.

7 people found this helpful

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I really love this book.

I really enjoyed this book. Thank you to Philippa @ British History for recommending it. Anyone who loves history of Edwardian times and some of those who went on the Titanic will want to read this. At one point it sounds like the writer is talking about the unsinkable Molly Brown but it's never clear? I never knew survivors of the Titanic committed suicide, sadly not surprised. This is a book I will read more than once I only wish it there was more.
Thank you!!

3 people found this helpful

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Where does Audible get these readers?

Accent, phrasing and mispronounciation by Jenny Funnel sent me screaming back to the printed word.

3 people found this helpful

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A look at the era in which the titanic sailed

An interesting look at the Edwardian era, the lives of the people on board the ship and the aftermath of the sinking

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent on so many levels

This meticulously researched book not only is the definitive word on what happened that awful night, but is also a superb comment on the end of the Edwardian world that presaged the First World War... I was amazed at how much I learned, and how it held me in rapt attention.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book on the Titanic

Excellent book on the Titanic and the era that she and her ship builders lived. I think the best part was actually the first half of the book in which the author describes the construction of the ship and the weeks and days leading up to the maiden (and only voyage) of the Titanic. In one sense, a prequel to the book "A Night to Remember" by Walter Lord. In that book, the author begins with the moment the ship struck the iceberg.

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New Look at the Epic Disaster

I've followed this event for over 40 years and this book put a new face on the humanity involved. Survivor accounts and pace of writing make the account suspenseful and tragic