The Wreck of the Titan

or, Futility

Cover image for


Published: 1893
Language: English
Wordcount: 70,961 / 211 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.4
LoC Category:
Downloads: 8,200
Added to site: 2008.03.20 20363

The story of a collision between a large trans-Atlantic oceanliner and an iceberg on the ship's maiden voyage to New York. Written 19 years before the Titanic disaster.

Show Excerpt

there rang out overhead a startling cry from the crow's-nest:

"Something ahead, sir--can't make it out."

The first officer sprang to the engine-room telegraph and grasped the lever. "Sing out what you see," he roared.

"Hard aport, sir--ship on the starboard tack--dead ahead," came the cry.

"Port your wheel--hard over," repeated the first officer to the quartermaster at the helm--who answered and obeyed. Nothing as yet could be seen from the bridge. The powerful steering-engine in the stern ground the rudder over; but before three degrees on the compass card were traversed by the lubber's-point, a seeming thickening of the darkness and fog ahead resolved itself into the square sails of a deep-laden ship, crossing the Titan's bow, not half her length away.

"H--l and d--" growled the first officer. "Steady on your course, quartermaster," he shouted. "Stand from under on deck." He turned a lever which closed compartments, pushed a button marked--"Captain's Room," and cr


Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1898) Nautical / War / Adventure

Plot bullets


    o Genre: Nautical, Thriller.

    o An ocean liner that could not sink.

    o An ocean liner going too fast in the North Atlantic.

    o An ocean liner that hits an iceberg.

    o Sounds a little familiar.? This was pre Titanic by many years.

    o One man becomes a hero, to everyone but the woman who's opinion really counts.


    o Genre: Nautical, Modern Pirate, War.

    o Military prisoners steal a war ship.

    o One officer is on board and has to deal with the situation.

    o The situation is complicated by the later presents of a shipwrecked girl.


    o Genre: War, Adventure, Sci-fi.

    o War between the US and Japan (pre WWII).

    o The Japanese seem to have a secret weapon on their side.

    o One man has some insight to the weapon and sets out to end the minis.


    o Genre: Intrigue

    o A submarine is sabotaged for the revenge of a lost love.

    o Two men (one the saboteur) and a girl are aboard on a tour.

    o All three are trapped at the bottom of the harbor.

Published 1898. Re-released after the wreck of the Titanic.

Hazel Pethig

This is a great book. What it doesn't say, is that it is actually 4 short stories, all sea oriented. It is not quite misogynistic, but very close. Typical for a book from this era. I liked the stories, I thought they were well written. I just wish there had been a bit of follow through with them all.


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