Book Review: Great French Passenger Ships by William Miller

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Great French Passenger Ships

A nostalgic look back over a century of French ocean travel—with several previously unpublished photos

Published by the History press, William Miller’s Great French Passenger Ships focuses on the last hundred years of French liners.  Starting with the famous ships of the French Line (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT)).

France produced some of the finest, most luxurious, best decorated passenger ships of the 20th century. Beginning in 1912 with the four-funnel France, the nostalgic voyage continues with the great and grand transatlantic liners of the French Line, the CGT, including the famous Ile de FranceNormandie, andLiberte. Also included are the lesser passenger ships of the French Line. In addition, focus is also given to Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, Transports Maritimes, and Chargeurs Reunis operating important South American routes and to Messageries Maritimes operating in Africa, the east, and south Pacific. Packed full of nostalgic reminiscence of great ship days gone by, overall the book explores great liners, mail boats to Africa, and colonial steamers to Saigon. Presenting many previously unpublished images alongside insightful text and anecdotes, this book takes the reader on a nostalgic voyage.

Great French Miller page 16 France Paris
This stunning photograph of the four-funneled FRANCE in an adjacent berth with PARIS gives a rare scale comparison.
Lantique
Mr. Miller’s book is filled with previously unpublished photographs from his and other collections.
France Stoltenburg
In the center of the book are dozens of colour plates, including these of the spectacular SS FRANCE.  I was very pleased to see several works by my favourite maritime painters, Don Stoletnberg, included in the book,

France interiors page 68
Numerous images detail the SS FRANCE and her interiors.
Felix Roussel

As well as the famous grand liners, Mr. Miller gives us plenty of material of some of of the lesser known French liners including Messageries Maritimes, Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, but also Chargeurs Réunis, the Fabre Line and Compagnie de Navigation Paquet.

The book closes with the aptly titled chapter:  The Legendary FRANCE of 1962.

Series: Great Passenger Ships

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (December 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752491520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752491523
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 10 x 9.2 inches
Martin Cox

Martin Cox

MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his photography has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York and London.The LA Maritime Museum has commissioned works and collected his photographs. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. A catalog from his series STRANDED (twilight of the ocean liner) was also published last year.
Martin Cox
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