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Transatlantic: Samuel Cunard, Isambard Brunel, and the Great Atlantic Steamships

Front Cover, Transatlantic: Samuel Cunard, Isambard Brunel, and the Great Atlantic Steamships

Cover design by Todd Robertson
Cover photograph by Marine Art Posters UK

During the nineteenth century, the roughest but most important ocean passage in the world lay between Britain and the United States. Bridging the Atlantic Ocean by steamship was a defining, remarkable feat of the era. Over time, Atlantic steamships became the largest, most complex machines yet devised. They created a new transatlantic world of commerce and travel, reconciling former Anglo-American enemies and bringing millions of emigrants who transformed the United States.

—Sunday Times (London)

Back Cover

Contents

PROLOGUE: THE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN AND THE BRITANNIA

PART ONE: THE PACKET SHIP ERA, 1820-1840

  • 1. The Sailing Packets 5
  • 2. Steam on Water 17

PART TWO: THE ERA OF CUNARD DOMINATION, 1840-1870

  • 3. Ships as Enterprise: Samuel Cunard of Halifax 39
  • 4. Ships as Engineering: Isambard Kingdom Brunei 96
  • 5. The Cunard Line 84
  • 6. The Collins Line 112
  • 7. Distinguished Failures 140
  • 8. Emigration and the Inman Line 168
  • 9. Life on a Steamer 196

PART THREE: THE ERA OF STEAMSHIP COMPETITION, 1870-1910

  • 10. The White Star Line 229
  • 11. Competition and Invention 294
  • 12. Ships as Buildings: Two Cycles to Cunard 278
  • 13. Ships as Towns: Officers, Crew, Steerage 310
  • 14. Anglo-Americans 336 13. Germans 361
  • 16. The Two Finest Cunarders 386 NOTES 419

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 469

INDEX 471

“Transatlantic, Stephen Fox’s lively social history, reminds you that engineering was once the stuff of romance.” —New York Times

STEPHEN FOX, a freelance historian, is the author of five previous books. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

MM Perennial
An Imprint of HarperCoMinsPublishers www.harpercollins.com
Author photograph © 2003 by Jerry Bauer
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In Transatlantic, the experience of crossing the Atlantic is re-created in stunning detail from the varied perspectives of first class, steerage, officers, and crew. The dynamic evolution of the Atlantic steamer is traced from Brunei’s Great Western of 1838 to Cunard’s Mauretania of 1907, the greatest steamship ever built.

“A full-bodied, meticulous chronicle. ... A comprehensive, fair-minded story.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Written with flair and care. . . . [Fox] has concentrated on explaining with zest and high distinction a great episode in social and technological history.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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