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The Edwardian Superliners: A Trio of Trios


They were the legends of the North Atlantic... the largest moving objects in the world... born of a tranquil era, their lives turned out very different than had been originally planned. Three sets of three ocean liners - a trio of trios - were conceived during the Edwardian era. Cunard's Lusitania, Mauretania and Aquitania, the White Star Line's Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, and the Hamburg-Amerika Line's Imperator (later Cunard's Berengaria), Vaterland (later the U.S. Line's Leviathan) and Bismarck (later White Star's Majestic). The Edwardian Superliners: A Trio of Trios tells their story ...

This book was one of the most hotly-anticipated maritime books of 2012. It saw release in June of 2012 in the UK, and quickly received astonishing reviews from every trade reviewer whose desk it crossed. The Southern Daily Echo said this in its lengthy review:

'... [The book is] so crammed with remarkable photographs, information, facts and figures that it is almost as sumptuous as the older liners, which are the subject of this magnificent volume. ... The Edwardian Superliners, A Trio of Trios by J. Kent Layton is destined to be recognised as the definitive work on this golden age of ocean travel.' - 19 August 2012.

The volume sold out very quickly after its release, and a Second Edition now been printed (remaining in hardcover with dustjacket format).

  • Now available!
  • Amberley Books
  • ISBN 9781445614380
  • Hardcover with dust jacket
  • 440 pages + color section
  • Hundreds of rare and / or previously unpublished photographs and illustrations
  • Introduction by Mark Chirnside
The Edwardian Superliners

Book Features:

Although this book follows a similar structure to my 2005 and 2009 self-published books named Atlantic Liners: A Trio of Trios, it has been significantly altered, eradicating errors which had crept into the previous versions, and expanding on their contents. The volume is packed with little-known or previously unpublished accounts and details. Thorough research has shown that a number of dearly-held "truths" about maritime history were little more than oft-repeated legends. Each chapter is thoroughly referenced with endnotes (literally hundreds of them, in total) which cite original source material; in some cases, the endnotes provide extensive background information on certain point without needlessly cluttering up the primary text.

I was very fortunate, within the last few years, to have made the friendly acquaintance of many of the most authoritative researchers on the great liners. I have thus been able to utilize their input and suggestions in making the text of the entire volume, particularly the Titanic chapter, as balanced and well thought-out as it could possibly be. (For those with a particular interest in the Titanic, make sure that you also order a copy of On A Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic.) There were occasions when oft-debated topics were touched on, and the pros and cons of each side were thoroughly investigated and researched in order to see what conclusions were best supported by cold, hard facts. Where conclusions were open to interpretation, I have tried my best – through footnotes and endnotes – to present the whole picture, or to give evidence as to why one conclusion was chosen over another.

The photographs in this book can be called nothing short of "breathtaking." We carefully went through and selected 746 black and white photographs and illustrations, as well as an additional selection of photographs and illustrations. That means that there are nearly 800 photos and illustrations, many of them rare or previously unpublished - not even in the prior releases of Atlantic Liners. This attention to the photographic record has made for a fascinating balance between a "good read" and "visual interest."

For those who acquired one of my self-published volumes, you will find that the printing and binding quality of this volume is far superior, giving great clarity to each of the reproduced photographs, and making for a pleasant tactile and visual experience with the words on the printed page.


The Edwardian Superliners: A Trio of Trios is now available directly from the publisher, and through fine retailers everywhere, both in Europe and the United States.

Signed & Numbered Copies. I will also be making copies available in a signed and numbered limited-edition release. There will be no availability of this signed and numbered special edition except directly through the author. Please place your pre-order for this now to help avoid delays in

Maritime researcher and author Mark Chirnside has kindly penned an introduction for the book, which helps to “set the stage” for the rest of the volume very nicely. At this time, I have to take a minute to thank everyone who has lent a hand on the project (they know who they are)... their assistance has proved invaluable in producing an exciting text packed with valuable information and plenty of photographs.


Previews of The Edwardian Superliners: A Trio of Trios
(Click thumbnail to enlarge)

Edwardian Superliners 1 Edwardian Superliners 2 Edwardian Superliners 3 Edwardian Superliners 4 Edwardian Superliners 5
Edwardian Superliners 6 Edwardian Superliners 7 Edwardian Superliners 8 Edwardian Superliners 9 Edwardian Superliners 10
Edwardian Superliners 11 Edwardian Superliners 12 Edwardian Superliners 13 Edwardian Superliners 14 Edwardian Superliners 15
Edwardian Superliners 16 Edwardian Superliners 17 Edwardian Superliners 18 Edwardian Superliners 19 Edwardian Superliners 20
Edwardian Superliners 21 Edwardian Superliners 22 Edwardian Superliners 23 Edwardian Superliners 24  


Recommendation: If your interest is on the Lusitania in particular, please take a look at my previous book, R.M.S. Lusitania: An Illustrated Biography (December 2010), which is also available through our online store.

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