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Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  945 ratings  ·  151 reviews
“An astonishing work.”
—Julian Fellowes, Creator and Executive Producer of “Downton Abbey”

“A book well worthy of marking the centenary of the crystal-clear night when the immense ship slid to her terrible doom.”
—Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman

It has been one hundred years since the sinking of the passenger liner Titanic in
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.74  · 
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 ·  945 ratings  ·  151 reviews


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Jane
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
The overall effect of this book--or the 100 pages of it I read before deciding there were other books that needed reading and this one wasn't worth the effort--is a bit like reading one of those history articles in the UK's Daily Mail, or maybe our very own Chicago Tribune except that's being a bit unfair to the Trib. Davenport-Hines covers the Titanic passengers from the shipowners down to the lower classes in breezy, anecdotal swathes of purple prose larded with adjectives and sprinkled with f ...more
Susan
Apr 09, 2015 added it
This is a wonderful addition to the many books about Titanic and its fateful maiden voyage. The emphasis is on the passangers and crew which sailed on it and what their experiences would have been and how they differed. There is a lot of information on the stratified and class conscious society at that time. I was interested to learn that US immigration laws stipulated passengers of different classes must be separated on liners by locked metal barriers to stop the spread of contagion. Also, that ...more
Marie
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Voyagers of the Titanic starts slow, but the deliberateness of the author in telling his story thoroughly is worth the wait, until the build-up to the actual sinking of the Titanic. Davenport-Hines chose to profile passengers from First, Second, and Third class, and along with biographic information, he included interesting trivia about each person, such as the various breeds of dogs they had on board. Suffice it to say that First Class passengers possessed wealth and privilege beyond belief, Se ...more
Mallory
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
2.5 stars. For me, this book just didn't live up to its title. I was under the impression I would be getting to know some of these travelers a little more intimately - know them and the details of their stories and lives better. However, the author chose to focus more on facts and numbers (even though he said in the beginning it wasn't that type of book!) and gave a mere gloss to the many, many names in the traveling classes and from White Star and Belfast. I understand: this ship held over 2,00 ...more
Ajla
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even though I've been reading and learning about Titanic for more than a decade, there is still a lot of information that I have yet to discover. Therefore I am very happy I read this book.
Amy
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was a great disappointment as I had seen reviews praising his research. Those reviews were correct his research is extensive but that is where things end. It apparently, that he didn't know how to pare down his research to write a compelling. This book is more an laundry list of the people on board with snippets of their lives before and sometimes after Titanic. He has divided the book into chapters by classes. The chapter on the first class is the most fleshed out as of we know the mo ...more
Tarissa
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is all-around enriching, enlightening and bursting with Titanic information. Of all the books I've read on the subject, this one ranks #2 right under Walter Lord's classic account(s). The author of "Voyagers of the Titanic" has outlined the chapters by subjects. In one chapter, you can read about the about the lives of the ship owners, in another, read about the ship builders. Then comes an entire chapter devoted to the First Class passengers, then everything you want to know about Sec ...more
Suep
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
The book read like my high school history text. After 100 pages, I began skimming and then searching for a passage or chapter that might make me want to continue. I could hear the pile of books waiting to be read calling to me. I heard the call of my vacuum begging to be run and the toilets awaiting to be cleaned. Davenport-Hines is a historian but lacks compelling writing skills.
Ellie Stevenson
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This an excellent work, with some fascinating stories about those who sailed and worked on Titanic. It's a book to refer to again and again, because of the numerous facts and anecdotal details which litter its pages. The chapters on migrants and imported Americans were a little dry but overall, I'd definitely recommend it.
Nick Guzan
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Far from being the definitive Titanic account, but a fascinating volume of stories and lives surrounding the famous ship, particularly the less celebrated but equally interesting denizens of second and third class.

I appreciate that the author focused heavily on the stories of those on the Titanic, as the human element of this tragedy - and others - has also been the most engaging and interesting for me. However, I found the opening section, which provides interesting but excessive context, overl
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Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Now that the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is almost here, I've had the blessed opportunity to be able to review some incredible new books out about the disaster. One such incredible book is called, Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines.

In this historical non fiction book, Richard takes the readers some place most books have never gone, in depth into the back stories behind everything you've ever wanted to know regarding the Titanic, those who built her and sailed
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A. S.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Voyagers of the Titanic” marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic by re-telling the stories of the passengers aboard this ship and the events before, during, and after the sinking.

Part One gives a general overview of the Titanic on land, and the shipowners as well as the shipbuilders that were behind it. Separate sections also follow the sailors, and discuss the boarding and the speed. Part Two follows the Titanic at sea and describes the people on the voyage—the first class, second
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Terri M.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: History Buffs
I have been fascinated by the Titanic since I was a kid and they sent back the first pictures from the submarine that discovered its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. Not a fan of the Cameron spectacle, I prefer the real life stories and connections that the tragedy created. Davenport-Hines certainly does try to life those connections and stories, but by the end of this 300 page novel it fails, in my opinion.

The book starts out very dry, like many non-fiction books I've attempte
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Libby
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gilded-age
No one not deaf or blind can have missed all the brouhaha about Titanic's Anniversary. It has been 100 years since that great ship went down, taking approximately 1500 souls to rest in the sea. A lot of books have just been published to coincide with the date. So many words, photos, film, etc. Which one should I read? Well alright, lets find the heart of the matter, which of course, is the PEOPLE. They are the story, not tons of steel. This book gives us information, sometimes in their own words ...more
Simone
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction
If you’ve read as many books and seen as many documentaries about Titanic as I have, you’ll willingly add this book to your list.

It’s like a little collection of biographies of people whom you already know a little about. Having seen movies and TV series and documentaries, you’ll recognize most names and already have an understanding of how the main characters relate to one another. This book fleshes that out in more detail by providing additional background information and interesting facts abo
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Kelsey Dangelo-Worth
With the passing of the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I read this recently published book. I've read many books about the sinking of the Titanic: fiction and nonfiction, from newspaper accounts to historical perspectives, to those of the investigative committee, to those of the recoverers of the wreck, probably totaling twenty books in all.
This book focuses on the people that voyaged on the maiden journey of the great ship through iceberg laden waters. The book succeeds in it
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Sharon
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very, very detailed account of those who built, financed and traveled on the Titanic. It was a little dry in places, forcing me to skip forward on occasions but nonetheless a historical account which endevours to clear up misconceptions formed over the years.
Class distinction features heavily and was of course responsible for the large loss of life in 3rd class. An interesting insight into that era, and also into the years following the disaster and the tragedies that befell some of the survi
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Sarah Smith
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: titanic
Just in time for the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking, VOYAGERS OF THE TITANIC is one of the better books about the people on board. Richard Davenport-Hines surrounds familiar figures with unfamiliar background and details that pull together into a riveting story. With a novelist's eye, Davenport-Hines sets his first-class passengers against the new Edwardian craze for speed; shows the ship's roots in the labor violence of Belfast; and sets third-class passengers within the great migration ...more
Ed Smiley
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was quite an excellent book. It has a great deal of research into the social fabric and conventions and the individual lives of those who were involved, with many telling details, including many individuals that were quite obscure. This provides a telling snapshot of the age; its focus is much more on the world of 1912 than on the details of the accident, although giving a good summary of the event.

Coincidentally, I was working on a "dead sailor from the Titanic" Halloween costume (since th
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LibraryCin
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The author gives some background information on many of the people who were on the Titanic when she sank; this includes crew and passengers from all three classes.

This one started off slow. There are a lot of people who were mentioned, so I found it difficult to remember who’s who, except the ones I’ve heard of before (mostly some of the 1st class passengers). Of course, once we got to the point when the ship hit the iceberg, then it really picked up for me. So, the second half of the
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Linda Lipko
Apr 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
April 14, 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary date of the sinking of the Titanic.

So much has been written, documented and filmed about the Titanic that it would seem difficult to find a new slant. Yet, the author has indeed accomplished this goal.

Rather than spending pages and pages of technical details regarding the building and sinking of the "unsinkable" luxury liner, Davenport-Hines focuses on the lives of those aboard. He gives in depth stories of the first, second and third class passenge
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Kelly Furniss
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The research carried out is amazing and I learnt so much. I urge anyone interested in the Titanic to read this!.
Margo Melville
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was terrific for details about the time period I am interested in. It is so full of Post-Its the cover is wonked up.
Adam
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks

Voyagers of the Titanic
By Richard Davenport-Hines

One of the challenges of studying the Titanic is one of perspective. Is the best way to study it from an outside perspective, taking different accounts and creating an overarching narrative? Or is it better to read the individual accounts of survivors, hearing from their perspective? “Voyagers of the Titanic” takes this latter approach. The narrative follows individual stories and perspectives, and lets the reader take in the overall scope of the
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Heidi
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars: A book filled with facts, a must for any Titanic enthusiast.

Ever wondered more about what the folks were really like on the Titanic? Want to know how the great ship came to be? Are you curious about her cargo? How much food it took to feed the passengers and crew? Of course, anyone fascinated by the Titanic would be interested to learn more about the night she sank and the aftermath that followed. April 15, 1912 is a date that is still marked one hundred and two years la
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Susan Williams
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book!

I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was so interesting in its details about the people, the ship, the sinking, the recovery of lifeboat survivors and bodies and the aftermath. New nuances in the various stupidities that contributed to the disaster were added to my knowledge of the many others. Fabulous research into the survivors' stories and those that did not survive. Especially sad were the tales of some of the young boys and teens that chose to stay behind or were not al
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Katja
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Boy, this book was thorough. And when I'm saying thorough, it really went beyond on covering every possible subject somehow connected to Titanic. The first half of the book widely underlays many prominent themes around Titanic - for instance shipbuilding, immigration to North America, the society during early 20th century - to help you understand better the world in which Titanic was built.
Second half focuses on the voyage, the sinking as well as the aftermath.
The part where Titanic Lives real
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Denise
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book

I didn't know what to feel about this book. I'm the beginning the book dragged and going On about the head men of the Titanic stinks!! Then when it got into the ship sailing and the iceberg hitting the boat l couldn't take my eyes off this book. The research was excellent,where did he go to get so much information on the 3rd class passengers? This must be my 4th book l read on the Titanic yet l read about the passengers that l never read in the other books. The compassion of the au
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Laura
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't overlook this book because you've already read about the Titanic! I was so pleasantly surprised to learn that this is your typical list of passengers and how they died or survived. Davenport talks about the various groups of people who passengers and what kinds of backgrounds they came from. New money, old money, heiresses, criminals, sailors who learned their trade on sailing ships, immigrants joining families or leaving families to find a better life. It's well done and gives you a good ...more
NuevoRain
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exactly what I wanted, lots of stories of lots of passengers on the Titanic. Ended with statistics - women of all classes survived more than reported. Very sad ending for those suffering from survivors guilt. The crazy, untrue stories surrounding the captain and others are reminiscent of fake news getting 'reported' on the internet.
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Play Book Tag: Voyagers of the Titanic / Richard Davenport-Hines. 3.5 stars 1 10 Feb 03, 2017 08:31PM  

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