Take a journey back in time, and step aboard the decks of one of the most legendary liners of the 20th Century...

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Over a century after her maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, and ninety-seven years after her loss to a German torpedo, prepare to relive her life story through words and pictures as you have never, ever, seen her before.

The Lusitania was one of the grandest Atlantic liners of the Edwardian era. For a time she was both the largest and fastest ship in the world. For seven-and-a-half 1908years, she crisscrossed the harsh North Atlantic between England and the United States. During this period, she came to be both beloved and world-famous; at the time, her name was synonymous with power, progress, and luxury.

When the world was engulfed by conflict in August of 1914, the future of the mighty Lusitania seemed uncertain. As a legendary symbol of British supremacy on the Atlantic, her loss would be a blow to the Allies' morale. Within months, however, the dangers posed to her safety seemed to be greatly reduced. One thing, however, was not taken into account: the threat posed by German U-boats. As the ship was still in civilian service and was carrying innocent passengers from both belligerent and neutral nations, however, it may have seemed unlikely that any sub commander would have the stomach to attack her. If she was attacked, it would have seemed even more impossible that she could be sunk. So the great liner continued ttp JKLto ply her prewar route.

When the path of the Lusitania crossed with the path of the German submarineU-20 on May 7, 1915, she was attacked without warning. A single torpedo was sent into her side, and she was sunk a mere eighteen minutes later. Of the 1,959 who were aboard her, 1,198 were killed.

Since the sinking, the Lusitania's technological greatness and her incredible career have faded into obscurity, to be replaced with lengthy commentaries on the political ramifications of her sinking, as well as on numerous conspiracy theories.

To commemorate the complete life and loss of this legendary liner, Lusitania: An Illustrated Biography has been released by Amberley Books. It is a replacement to the author's previous volume on the subject, and has been greatly expanded in its new form. This book attempts to show the entire career of the Lusitania - from conception, to a lengthy and magnificent career, to an untimely premature demise - in context. Through words, pictures and illustrations - many of them never before published - the Lusitania can finally be revealed in a way that celebrates her life as well as commemorates her death, and the deaths of so many innocent men, women and children. Through the pages of Lusitania: An Illustrated Biography, readers will are transported through time, back to the decks of the legendary Cunarder as she cut her way through the waters of the North Atlantic.

The "Survivor's Note" by Barbara McDermott, as well as the wonderful introduction by Lusitania researchers Mike Poirier and Jim Kalafus (both done for the 2007 volume) have been retained for the new book. As the author, I wish to extend my sincerest thanks to all who were involved or contributed to the finished volume. Bon voyage.

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Lusitania Cover


Cover Cover2

Book details:

  • Full title: Lusitania: An Illustrated Biography
  • ISBN-10: 1848688342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848688346
  • Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
  • Size: A4 (8.27"x11.69", or 210x297 mm), 424 pages, 479 photographs and illustrations, all-new g/a plans of the ship, + a 16-page color section containing 27 additional photos and illustrations.
  • Availability: In stock and available now directly from the author. (Please see links below).

A preview of the all-new plans by the author can be seen below:


Please note: These plans are now available to purchase directly from the author in 1/350 scale. Click here for details.


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Please enjoy these preview pages from this breathtaking release from Amberley Books:

Lusitania Pg 10 Lusitania Pg 11 Lusitania Pg 50
Lusitania Pgs 60-61 Lusitania Pgs 138-9 Lusitania Pgs 164-5
  Lusitania Pgs 190-1  

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©2010 J. Kent Layton and Atlantic Liners. Site design by TMB Studios. All Lusitania material on this page is from the author's collection, unless otherwise noted. Not for reproduction without the author's written consent.