Extremely Well-Known

In a change to the usual format, Ivan Wise discusses one thing which is Extremely Well-Known.

In April 1912, the world’s largest ocean liner, the Titanic, sank on the fourth day of its maiden voyage. Over 1500 of its passengers and crew drowned.

For 110 years, this story has dominated our consciousness. Its mix of innovative engineering, New York high society and tragedy on the high seas has been adapted for film and television numerous times, is a text book case in the study of hubris and has been a subplot in shows as wide-ranging as Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Family Guy. Why has this story become so well-known? And why is it that we all know about the Titanic but not about all the other maritime disasters?

As a reward for those who have listened curiously to many hundreds of choices of which they have never heard, finally here is an episode about a subject which everyone can relate to.

Archive interview extracts are taken from the 1996 Radio Netherlands documentary Titanic: A 20th Century Parable.

Titanic https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17631595
13 Maritime disasters more tragic than the Titanic https://www.theshipyardblog.com/13-maritime-disasters-more-tragic-than-the-titanic/
Lusitania (1915) https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/18-minutes-that-shocked-the-world
Princess Alice disaster (1878) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44800309
Wilhelm Gustloff (1945) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/deadliest-disaster-sea-happened-75-years-ago-yet-its-barely-known-why-180974077/

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