January 23, 2005
MY BOOK REVIEW: "CUNARD'S LEDGENDARY QUEENS"
I like this book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in getting an understanding of the famous Cunard ships.
Unlike many of the more detailed books about Cunard and it's close to 165 year old history, this book focuses on the more recent history that people are more likely to be familiar with - and probably interested in.
What makes this book different to many of the books I have read is:
1) He focuses on the "Queens". By this it means he focuses only on the ships that Cunard have called "Queen". So that 5 ships: Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria (due to be launched in 2007).
2) Taps into different sources of photographs than many books, using some from his own collection and Southampton museums - and, therefore, has many different shots than most other Cunard books.
The writer has real passion for the topic, and tells us early on that he has personally travelled at some point on all of the Queens that have been or are in service. He also manages to reduce the long history of each of the ships (many having 30+ years) into short and sharp paragraphs. What he also does is reflect more on the impact that each of the ships had on the world and society that they operated in (e.g. the area they were built in, their role in society - especially war, and in the fortunes of Cunard).
He takes this approach as clearly he sees each of the ships and the history of Cunard as something much more significant than just a series of passenger ships.
This is an easy to read book, with a good balance of image and text. It would be ideal for people who have an interest in or are planning to travel on one of the current Cunard "Queens" in service to help them appreciate the rich history without having to plough through a thick volume and in depth history.