You will find, below, a list of updates since January 2015. For earlier articles, please consult the news archive.

Mark Chirnside's eagerly awaited Oceanic: White Star's 'Ship of the Century', is available .  This 'beautiful' volume covers Oceanic's complete history from conception to the present day exploration of her wreck.  Click here to purchase your own personal, signed copy!


Described as 'a spectacular book' and ' painstakingly researched and beautifully presented', The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic, released in hardcover in October 2016, is now also available as a softcover edition (right) from May 2018.  Click here to purchase your own personal, signed copy!




March 2021

The revised and expanded edition of The 'Olympic' Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic (History Press; 2011) has been reprinted! It's available for purchase for the first time in several years if you visit the bookshop. The original edition from 2004 was described as 'extraordinarily researched' and 'highly recommended', but the revised and expanded edition seven years later was substantially improved further.  It was expanded from 352 to 384 pages with a brand-new colour section on top.

Janaury 2021

A link to a new article, Olympic, Titanic & Britannic: An Issue of Finance (External Link), has been added to the article indexes. 

It's widely believed that construction of the three 'Olympic' class ships was made possible by the use of American money - resources from either J. P. Morgan or IMM.  The truth is the opposite.  White Star was not supported by IMM's resources.  IMM was supported by White Star.  Construction was financed through capital raised in the United Kingdom.  This article explains in detail how:

  • White Star financed the ‘Olympic’ class ships and others by borrowing the money from largely United Kingdom-based investors, mortgaging its own fleet;
  • White Star borrowed the money, rather than IMM, to take advantage of its stronger financial position and lower borrowing costs;
  • The new ships provided additional security underlying IMM’s own debt, without increasing the money IMM itself borrowed;
  • Dividends paid by White Star from 1908 to 1912 helped IMM meet its debt interest payments.

It was first published in the Titanic International Society’s Voyage July 2020: Pages 135-39.

November 2020

One of many myths is that Britannic was longer than her sister ships. This new article explains that she was not and discusses why her breadth was increased. Britannic: The Length and Breadth of the Ship.

October 2020

The dossier about Titanic's Centre Propeller has been updated with new material and a link to a new research article, Titanic's Centre Propeller: The Stephen Pigott Evidence, which was first published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in July 2020.  It analyses a discovery by researcher Joao Goncalves of a notebook in the papers of Stephen Pigott, a turbine engine specialist who worked for John Brown & Co.  (The Clyde shipbuilder was subcontracted by Harland & Wolff to work on the low pressure turbines for Olympic and Titanic.)

August 2020

The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company: Its Early Development In A Few Facts & Figures is a short article that provides a few statistics highlighting the growth of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company's (White Star Line's) fleet and annual profits over its early decades of existance, including a comparison with Cunard from 1898 to 1907.  It appeared in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in September 2019.  It helps provide some context to the company's development and growth.

April 2020

Olympic & Titanic: Refining A Design discusses several minor refinements to Titanic's design based on experience with Olympic (similar changes were then incorporated into Olympic and Britannic).  It is a greatly expanded version of an article originally made available on the Titanic Research & Modelling Association (TRMA) website in 2005, which published information about these changes for the first time.  This expanded article appeared in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in December 2019.

February 2020

HMHS Britannic: A Mystery of Numbers   has been uploaded to the site. This article discusses Britannic's official number, looking at the evidence that she was allocated both the number 'G.608' and 'G.618' during the different phases of her service as a hospital ship.  It was published originally in the Titanic Historical Society journal Titanic Commutator in 2008 and has been reproduced as it was originally written, with an additional introductory note.

February 2020

Whatever Happened to Germanic/Homeric? has been updated with some additional information from Ralph Currell.

August 2019

Titanic: 'She Sailed Only Half Full?' is a new article exploring Titanic's passenger numbers. It's not unusual for people to express surprise when they learn Titanic was little more than half full on her maiden voyage.  However, there's no reason to assume she would have been fully booked - she sailed outside of the high season.  The article was published in the Titanic Historical Society's Titanic Commutator journal in April 2019.

May 2019

A new article has been added: Titanic's Lifeboats: Fact & Fiction.  The article examines a series of false claims made about the topic in a television programme, which cited a primary source in support of the claims but completely misrepresented the contents.   It was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in March 2019.

January 2019

A new article for a new year: Titanic's Lifeboats: An  Increased Capacity.  The article draws a contrast between the shipbuilder's original design proposals in July 1908 and Titanic's lifeboat configuration when she was completed in April 1912, demonstrating that her total lifeboat capacity (measured as a proportion of the total passengers and crew she could carry) actually increased about 39 percent.  It was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in September 2018.

October 2018

Oceanic: White Star's 'Ship of the Century'  is now available for pre-order prior to its 1 November 2018 release.  Signed copies can be bought through the Bookshop.

May 2018

A new article has been uploaded, Olympic: A Floating French Hotel. It discusses in detail some of the various schemes to purchase her and, in particular, one consortium's plan to acquire her and use her as a floating hotel in the south of France.

April 2018

The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic is released as a cheaper softcover edition from May 2018 and signed copies can be bought through the Bookshop.

February 2018

A belated Happy New Year! Lots of things have been going on behind the scenes and new reviews of The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic  have been uploaded.

April 2017

First published in January 2017, in response to yet another popular Titanic conspiracy theory, ‘Titanic Fire & Ice (or What You Will)’ explores in detail many of the false claims that were made in a recent TV programme and addresses them by examining the evidence point by point.  This paper is a co-authored effort by (in alphabetical order) Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Ioannis Georgiou, Steve Hall, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt with editing by Cathy Akers-Jordan.  It is a comprehensive analytical paper complete with detailed references and acknowledgements, but has a single page summary of our conclusions on page 45.

November 2016

The reviews are in for The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic.

A new dossier has been uploaded, documenting the available evidence about Titanic's centre propeller configuration.  

October 2016

The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic has been released by the History Press. An exclusive preview page has been uploaded, and you can buy your own personally inscribed, signed copy here.

August 2016

A new article has been uploaded:

Titanic: Allegations & Evidence (August 2016)

This article discusses a number of questionable claims made about Titanic in recent years, including unsubstantiated claims of deliberately flawed construction  It was published originally in the Titanic International Society journal Voyage in December 2015.

April 2016

The pages for RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister and Olympic Titanic & Britannic: An Illustrated History of the 'Olympic' Class Ships have been updated with reviews.

A new article has also been uploaded, accessible through the Titanic Index or the link below:

The Enclosure of Titanic's Forward A-deck Promenade: Popular Myth (April 2016)

This article examines a last-minute change to Titanic's design: the enclosure of the fore end of the ship's promenade deck, A. It proved to be one of the most obvious external features to distinguish Olympic and Titanic at a distance, but a lot of claims have been made about the reason for the change which do not stand up to scrutiny.  The article looks at them in detail and provides little-known evidence from Olympic's career.  It was first published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in March 2016.  

January 1st 2016

All good wishes for a happy, contented and prosperous New Year!

September 5th 2015

The revised and expanded edition of RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister is released by the History Press in the next few days.  Thoroughly improved and expanded from the original edition that was published in 2004, the new volume has been expanded from 320 to 352 pages, with a revised colour section.  Despite all this additional material, the new edition is being sold for the same price as the original was eleven years ago!

A new preview page has been added, containing a full contents listing, previews of some of the pages inside, and some additional notes about the book's history.  Signed copies can be purchased directly from the Bookshop.

April 24th 2015

The reviews are in for The Sting of the Hawke: Collision in the Solent - The Full Story Behind the Collision Between HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic on 20 September 1911 and four reviews have been added.

January 15th 2015

As we enter 2015, all good wishes go out for you to have a happy, contented and prosperous New Year! Thanks to everybody who has visited and supported Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room.

It will be a busy year with new releases planned. To kick off, a new page has been added to the website to preview the new book The Sting of the Hawke: Collision in the Solent - The Full Story Behind the Collision Between HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic on 20 September 1911, co-authored by Sam Halpern and Mark Chirnside.  This recently-released volume aims to offer a definitive account and analysis of the infamous collision.  To sneak a peak inside, click here and, if you'd like to buy a copy signed by Mark, then you can do so in the Bookshop.

Another link has been added to the Links page, directing readers to Drew Keeling's excellent website looking at mass immigration as a travel business.

As well as joining the mailing list (below), you may wish to follow the site on Facebook for the latest news and updates.

If you wish to receive an occasional notification of updates to this website, or the latest release information about one of Mark Chirnside’s upcoming books or publications, then you can join the mailing list using the form below. All contact information will be kept strictly confidential; it will never be disclosed to any third party; and you may unsubscribe at any time you chose.

After subscribing, you will be sent an automated e-mail. Please check your spam folder, if you have one, to make sure that you do not miss it. It is necessary to confirm your subscription by clicking the link supplied in this automated e-mail. If you do not, then your address will not be confirmed and you will not receive any of the list messages.

Join Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room Mailing List

Join Mark Chirnside's Reception Room Mailing List
Enter your name and email address below:
Subscribe  Unsubscribe 




Home / Books Index / Interviews Index / Articles Index / News Index / Updates / Sitemap

Mark Chirnside's Reception Room ©2004-