23 March 2012
Last updated at 18:30
A new 'visual chronicle' of the story of Titanic is to be published in April, in time for the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. The author, Michael McCaughan, was a curator at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum for over 40 years and is the former head of transport at National Museums NI.
Michael said that while the book was about the ship, "it's also about the people, especially the people who built Titanic". Titanic: Icon of an Age combines exclusive photographs from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum's extensive archives with period advertisements and White Star publications.
"Titanic was the embodiment of the Edwardian world at sea," Michael says, "it's a modern parable about the relationship between man and machinery and implacable nature".
In addition to exploring the story of the world's most famous ship, the book delves into other themes of the era - including the suffragette movement, the home rule question and labour strikes.
"The Edwardian age was the emergence of the modern world as we know it. It was the beginning of the world of speed, that was the defining characteristic - speed and velocity, speed of change, speed of communication, speed of transport, the beginning of flight," Michael says.
"There are really two Titanics," Michael said in trying to explain the doomed liner's enduring popularity.
"There is the real Titanic which sank in 1912, and then there is the Titanic of the imagination which has sailed on after that period and is still underway today."
Titanic: Icon of an Age will be launched on 12 April at Cultra Manor, County Down and is published by Blackstaff Press.