The World’s First Great Ocean Liner: A Select Bibliography of the SS Great Britain 1834-1970
By Jean Young. Pub. by Jean C.Young in Association with the SS Great Britain Trust, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol BS1 6TY. Price £7.75 ISBN 0952632314.
This bibliography contains material specifically about the SS Great Britain up to her return home from the Falklands in 1970, and is based upon material published or researched up to 2002. This is a select bibliography that brings together for the first time the key recorded sources for the ship. It includes primary and secondary sources and an invaluable list of the major printed works about the life of the ship from her launch to her return to Bristol. The extensive index is a tour de force and allows effective access to the sources and Jean Young is to be congratulated on her painstaking research. The Director of the SS Great Britain Trust, Matthew Tanner and a former contributor to Soundings, acknowledges the author’s contribution to the subject area and is quite right to claim that this work ‘is a valued tool for formal researchers and history lovers alike’ and further that such folk, together with the ship, are ‘indebted to Jean Young for this achievement’. There will be members who have had personal experience of preparing and writing a bibliography and will understand the academic responsibilities, and sometime the enormities that are involved in such a project. One of the great advantages of celebrating a bicentennial of an historical figure, Lord Nelson, John Stuart Mill or I.K.Brunel, is the wealth of writing that follows in the commemorative year of their celebration. In this book again, we are the beneficiaries of such scholarship together with a wealth of research writing. Consequently, this is a publication that we can rely upon and importantly use for reference. It also emerges as a valuable contribution and a significant academic comment by the author in this bicentennial year of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and one of his many projects, the SS Great Britain.
Reviewed by Mike Baker
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