THS - a new book?

THS - a new book?

Postby Bill Wormstedt on Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Ed and Karen,

A month or so ago, I ordered several old issues of the Commutator, and am enjoying the read. Thanks for sending so quickly.

I am in the middle of reading William J. Oldham's "The Titanic and the Chairman", which you serialized in the Commutator back in 1987/1988. It occurs to me - since many of your members would have never read this book, as it was published 24 years ago, I think it would be a good idea if you were able to reprint it, in book form! Something extra, and unique, to sell in the Museum Store!

Of course, I realize it would take some work to get it ready for publication. And something might need to be worked out with Oldham's family. Still, I think it might be worthwhile, and the members might enjoy it. I know I'd buy a copy!

Bill Wormstedt
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Timothy Trower on Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:06 pm

I'd second this proposal in a heartbeat!
All the best,

Tim

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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Karen Kamuda on Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:19 am

Hi Bill,

Ed and I have been away for a few weeks, there was no wi-fi, which was a blessing, so we could get away from our usual for awhile ;)

Coincidentally we had thought of reprinting it more than 10 years ago and I had begun to copy the chapters. You are right, there is valuable information in "The Titanic and the Chairman" that we wish was more widely distributed. The fly in the ointment is copyright. Although we were given the right to publish in the Commutator we don't know what his heirs would have to say. What we have heard was not encouraging so we stopped. We've been that route before with a previous book and don't need any problems so any thoughts are just that... thoughts :cry:

Karen and Ed
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Bill Wormstedt on Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:30 pm

That's too bad that the family was not encouraging. But I do understand you not wanting to put a lot of effort into something that may not run out.

A few questions regarding "The Titanic and the Chairman", if you don't mind. And I understand you may not know or remember the answers, especially after all this time.

Did Oldham write this not long before you published (I saw the note he died during publication), or was this something he had written years earlier, and had been sitting on the shelf?

Unfortuately for us current researchers, he didn't leave a lot of details as to where or how he got some of the details in his book. Was he acquantied with either Ismay himself, or the family? Or have access to the Ismay papers?

I'm mainly curious, as Oldham makes a number of statements that I just wonder what the proof is. Nothing earthshaking, but just things I haven't run across elsewhere.

Bill
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Bill Wormstedt on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:18 am

Ed and Karen,

Guess I've found the answer to my own questions!

I was reading the Vol. 11, number 4 issue of the Commutator this morning. In addition to Part 4 of "The Titanic and the Chairman", it includes a biorgraphy of William Oldham, written by Leslie Harrison, who knew Oldham.

It turns out Oldham became quite friendly with Ismay's family. Though he didn't meet Ismay himself, he did meet Mrs. Bruce Ismay, and assorted other relatives. I imagine he got quite a lot of verbal information from them, and possibly some family papers. Then, of course, it's apparent that Oldham had read at least some, or all, of the two 1912 Inquiries.

Bill
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Jim Keller on Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:02 pm

It really is a pity this book isn't more widely available, as it sounds fascinating. e-Publishing really should be creating a wave of out-of-print books becoming available very inexpensively, but thus far very few copyright holders have chosen to avail themselves of the opportunity.
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Karen Kamuda on Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:24 pm

Bill,

Ed corresponded with Mr. Oldham over many years and as I recall Mr. Oldham had access to the Ismay family papers, diaries, etc. so the information in his books came from original sources. Ed thinks Florence Ismay's diaries are now in the Liverpool Maritime Museum collection.

Oldham was a very gracious and traditional Englishman. His formality fit the period, he understood the social mores of England in the early 1900s. The world has changed a lot since his time but it was his character and intelligence that fit in well with his association and friendship with the Ismay family.

Karen
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Anna Popova on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:34 am

So there's no way that the book will be published?

Because I saw how I much it would cost if I wanted to order all the needed issues and I wanted to cry... :cry:
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Re: THS - a new book?

Postby Timothy Trower on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:28 am

Anna,

It is unlikely that the this book will be printed and made available in the near future; as Karen notes, copyrights are very tricky, and the Oldham family holds all of the cards. Although it would cost a bit to purchase each of the back issues of the Commutator so that you could own the entire serialized book, I can assure you that the content is quite well worth it. (I've got the entire run of the journal, and this series is a treasured part of that set of magazines.)

However, I am sure that if rights can be acquired by some publishing firm (and I'd love for that to be the THS) then we'll let you know through this forum.
All the best,

Tim

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