By Chris Frame & Rachelle Cross
The History Press, $14.95, 128 pges
In an age when romance and travel are no longer compatible, The Cunard Story explains why ocean liners have not only survived but why they enjoy a new lease on life as cruise ships. This small book is loaded with images and snippets of information that complement a cheerful, affectionate narrative. Early in the nineteenth century, Samuel Cunard recognized the potential of steam power and left Nova Scotia for England, setting his sights on a seafaring fortune. He contracted with the British government to run the first reliably scheduled transatlantic mail service. As business grew, the “Cunarders” played a leading role among their rivals on the high seas. They lost their luxurious appeal in World War I when a German torpedo sank the Lusitania and the Mauretania became a hospital ship for soldiers wounded at Gallipoli. After further service in World War II, Cunard again became synonymous with glamour. The book follows rivalries with French, German and American companies. It is elegantly designed and the pages show both exterior and interior developments. The three contemporary Cunard Queens, Elizabeth, Victoria and Mary 2, epitomize all that the company has stood for during the last two centuries.
Reviewed by Jane Manaster