Why did I love this book?
After the sinking of the Titanic, public interest in the disaster ended abruptly with the all-consuming tragedy of the First World War. It wasn’t until 1955 when Walter Lord wrote the definitive account of the sinking, A Night To Remember, that interest in Titanic was reignited across the world. Lord had sailed on the Titanic’s sister ship Olympic as a child and developed a fascination with the Titanic, collecting old newspaper cuttings and memorabilia. His parents thought him very odd.
Lord carried his preoccupation with Titanic into adult life. While working in an advertising agency in New York in the 1950s, some forty years after the sinking, Lord realised that many survivors would soon be reaching the end of their lives and would no longer be able to tell their stories. He took out advertisements inviting survivors to get in touch, interviewing sixty passengers and crew.
A Night To Remember became an immediate bestseller and to this day is considered to be the definitive account of the sinking – as is the black-and-white movie of the same name, based on Lord’s book. As Newsweek put it at the time, "It tells you what it’s like to be on a sinking ocean liner."