Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Titanic, shabti and further reading

Much to my surprise, my article Servant of the Deep: The mystery of the Titanic Shabti has consistently been the post popular post on this blog. As of now, it's been read 910 times since it went live on 24th January.

The Titanic seems to exert a continuing fascination with people and this will probably reach a new high next year which will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Add to the that an Ancient Egyptian mystery and you have a great story - well, at least I think so.

I had any email the other day from a follower of Egyptology News Network asking about any recommendations about good books about this eternally hypnotic story.

So for Tim - and any others who are interested - are my list of books. Some of these have been listed in the post, but I have also mentioned them here again.

A Night to RememberPerhaps the classic book is A Night to Remember, Penguin Books, London, 1978 (first published 1956) by Walter Lord. It hasn't really dated and has fabulous photographs. Also made into a film of the same name. Highly recommended.

Titanic: Fortune and Fate : Letters, Mementos, and Personal Effects from Those Who Sailed on the Lost ShipTitanic: Fortune and Fate, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998. This actually a catalogue of a Titanic artefact exhibition and contains a photograph of Molly Brown's shabti. It's where I first encountered the story.

The Loss of the Titanic, 1912, The Stationery Office, London, 1999 (first published 1912 and 1913). Perhaps a little bit of a dry read but this a British account of the sinking.

Titanic: The Official Story April 14-15, 1912There is also Titanic: The Official Story, April 14-15, 1912 (facsimile documents from the archives of the Public Record Office, London), Random House, Inc, New York, 1997. A bit of a novelty but quite atmospheric.

The Riddle of the Titanic, Orion, London, 1995, by Robin Gardiner and Dan van der Vat. This is for those who like their conspiracy theories. Was it really the Titanic which sank?

Also worth reading are A Night Remembered, Hambledon and London, New York, 2004, by Stephanie Barczewski.

Molly Brown: Unraveling the MythKristen Iversen, and Muffet Brown's Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, Johnson Books, 1999, provides a good overview of the woman who acquired the shabti, along with other Ancient Egyptian treasures, on a visit to Egypt before boarding the doomed liner to return home.

And for a balanced look at the story from the man who re-discovered the wreck - Robert Ballard - there's National Georgaphic's Secrets of the Titanic DVD set.

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