Large ships have always evoked awe and nostalgia among shiplovers, and none more so than the giant liners of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They sailed the oceans with a wide range of passengers long before any other mode of long-distance transport was available to the ordinary man. Their sheer size and opulence were genuinely admired and frequently amazed at around the world, and the romance and tragedy surrounding them has ensured an enduring place in the hearts and minds of those who served or travelled on them as well as those who have only ever seen their like in literature or on film. Here, for the first time, the history of these vessels is recounted with full exploration into their design, construction and development, along with a social history of those who worked and travelled on them. The well-known perennial favourites such as 'Mauretania', 'Olympic', and 'Titanic', 'Bremen', 'Europa' and the 'Cunard Queens' will be looked at in a fresh new light in the context of emerging and changing lifestyles. The book also offers detailed information on some of the lesser known but significant ships such as 'l'Atlantique', 'Empress of Britain', and 'Cap Arcona'.
The story is brought full circle with a discussion of the liner's increasing influence on cruise ship design and what is foreseen as the ultimate triumph of the ocean liner, the new Cunard 'Queen Mary II' project to initiate a new liner era for the twenty-first century. With both original and contemporary illustrations in both colour and black-and-white, this will be an essential work for liner enthusiasts and maritime historians alike. The illustrations alone are a goldmine of period pieces, industrial splendour and style.