The Life of Edward John Smith
by G. J. Cooper
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The definitive account of the life and career of the respected and popular captain of the Titanic includes original research drawing on the ship's logs, crew lists, newspapers, and first-hand accounts Commander Edward John Smith's career had been a remarkable example of how a man from a humble background could get far in the world, and this biography tracks the fascinating career and many voyages of a seasoned captain. Born to a working-class family, he went to sea at the age of 17 and rose rapidly through the ranks of the merchant navy, serving first in sailing vessels and later in the new steamships of the White Star Line. By 1912, he was their senior commander and regarded by many in the shipping world as the "millionaire's captain." In 1912, Smith was given command of the new RMS Titanic for her maiden voyage, but what should have been among the crowning moments of his long career at sea turned rapidly into a nightmare following the Titanic's collision with an iceberg. In a matter of hours the supposedly unsinkable ship sank, taking more than 1,500 people with her, including Captain Smith. This account dispels myths about the man and tracking his movements and motives in detail on that fateful night.
- The History Press, October 2011
The History Press
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