For 1930s Britain, the Queen Mary was a symbol of hope. Cunard had abandoned construction on what they had planned to be the grandest liner of all time (then known simply as Job 534) in the depths of the Depression. Her half-finished hull sat on the Clyde for years, but when Cunard announced they were going to complete her, it was a sign, perhaps, that the darkest days were over, that the country was emerging from economic disaster and that Britannia would soon rule the waves once again.
The Queen Mary would go on to be one of the most famous ships in the world for all the right reasons. The first British ship to be over 1,000 feet in length, launched by her namesake (and for which the Clyde had to be artificially widened to allow such a large ship to pass through), she won the Blue Riband (the record for fastest Atlantic crossing) not once by twice - and when she won it the second time in 1938 she held it until 1952. After wartime service carrying up to 16,000 US troops to Europe at a time, she finally retired to Long Beach, California, in 1967.
There she remains, a perfectly preserved reminder of a bygone era, and a celebration of the golden age of the transatlantic liner. In this book David Ellery, maritime historian, TV presenter and documentary maker, answers all the questions you might have about this glorious ship - and ones you might never have thought to ask too. This unique, accessible approach gives a fantastic introduction to the ship to anyone curious about her, but is also very detailed and comprehensive, covering everything from the ship's design, construction, engineering and interior fittings to her naming, wartime service and more.
Packed with archival photographs and other original material, this is a fascinating and illuminating guide to the Queen Mary, looking beneath the sheen of her appointments to explore how her fame is well deserved.
Author(s): David Ellery
First Publishment Date: 11 November 2021