Posted by: billpurdue | April 7, 2012

Titanic prophesy?

First of all, I’d like to send special thanks to Evie who responded to my question about a book which was published before the Titanic disaster and which appeared to foretell it. I had forgotten the title and thanks to Evie I can now tell you what it is. It’s called Futility – or the wreck of the Titan [Filiquarian Publishing £8.00 978-1599869582 – this is only one of several editions available] by Morgan Robertson, published in 1898.

I haven’t read the book myself and, from what I can gather, it’s not a great story. It tells of a brand new ship called the ‘Titan’ on its maiden voyage, which hits an iceberg and sinks. Like the ‘Titanic’, 14 years later, there are not enough lifeboats on board for all the passengers. There are several more similarities between the ‘Titan” and the real life ‘Titanic’. Some might say that this is very uncanny, whilst others would dismiss it as just a coincidence. I’ll leave you to make up your own minds.

There’s a lot more to the story than just the sinking of the ‘Titan’, so if you would like a synopsis of the book without having to read it yourself, start by looking at the Wikipedia article . In my next monthly article for the Chad, I’ll be writing about this book and some of the many books on the real ‘Titanic’ available in the shops.

Derbyshire Literary Festival

This year’s Derbyshire Literature Festival runs from 11th to 20th May. There are events taking place all over the county, some in libraries, but many in other types of venue. I’ve been leafing through the brochure and here are some of what I think are the highlights.

Sinclair McKay, author of The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There [Aurum Press £8.99 978-1845136338] will be talking about the lives of the ordinary men and women based at Bletchley Park, during World War 2. This event is at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, Swadlincote on 16th May at 2 pm. Tickets are £5.

‘The Art of Betrayal’ is the title of a talk by Gordon Corera, someone who makes frequent appearances on BBC news programmes as their resident security correspondent. His book The Art of Betrayal: Life and Death in the British Secret Service [Weidenfeld £20 978-0297860990] was published last year. According the the Telegraph review, the book is “a highly readable and well-researched account”. Mr Corera will be speaking at Chesterfield Library on 17th May at 7.15pm. Tickets are £5.

ImageJoanne Harris, author of Chocolat and many more titles will be one of the authors appearing in the ‘Meet the Author’ series of talks at Chesterfield Library on May 18th at 7.15. She will be speaking about her brand new novel which is due out a few days after the end of the festival: Peaches for Monsieur le Curé [Doubleday £18.99 978-0385619219]. Other authors appearing include Edward Hogan at Glossop Library on 11th May, Carole Matthews at Buxton Library on 15th May and Isla Dewar at Long Eaton Library on 17th May.

ImageFinally Evan Davis (of BBC Radio 4 ‘Today” programme) will be at Masson Mills, Cromford, on Sunday 13th May, talking about his new book Made in Britain: how the nation earns its living [Little, Brown £18.99 978-1408703304]. Tickets cost £5.

To get tickets for any of the events, you can call 08456 058 058 and for more information about the festival , go to

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