The Wreck of the Titan
The Novel That Foretold the Sinking of the Titanic
by Morgan Robertson
The Wreck of the Titan: or, Futility is a novella written by Morgan Robertson and published as Futility in 1898, and revised as The Wreck of the Titan in 1912. It features a fictional British ocean liner Titan, the largest ship in the line, considered to be supposedly unsinkable, that sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. The ship Titan and its sinking are famous for similarities to the passenger ship RMS Titanic and its sinking 14 years later.
Titan was roughly the same size as the Titanic with about the same number of passengers, the ship was not provided with enough lifeboats for all of its passages, and half of the passengers died when it sank after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.
The first half of the book introduces the hero John Rowland. Rowland is a disgraced former US Navy officer. Now an alcoholic fallen to the lowest levels of society, he has been dismissed from the Navy and works as a deckhand on the Titan. One April night the ship hits an iceberg, sinking somewhat before the halfway point of the novel. The second half follows Rowland. He saves the young daughter of a former lover by jumping onto the iceberg with her. The pair find a lifeboat washed up on the iceberg and are rescued by a passing ship. The girl is recovered by her mother and Rowland is arrested for her kidnapping. A sympathetic magistrate discharges him and rebukes the mother for being unsympathetic to her daughter’s savior. Rowland disappears from the world.
Softcover 70 pages