Robertson, Morgan Andrew - The Wreck of the Titan
Type of Spiritual Experience
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan is an 1898 novella written by Morgan Robertson. The story features the ocean liner Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg The Titan and its sinking have been noted to be very similar to the real-life passenger ship RMS Titanic, which sank fourteen years later.
The first half of Futility introduces the hero, John Rowland. Rowland is a disgraced former Royal Navy lieutenant, who is now a drunkard and has fallen to the lowest levels of society. Dismissed from the Navy, he is working as a deckhand on the Titan. The ship hits the iceberg, capsizing and sinking somewhat before the halfway point of the novel. The second half follows Rowland, as he saves the young daughter of a former lover by jumping onto the iceberg with her. After a number of adventures, in which he fights a polar bear and finds a lifeboat washed up on the iceberg, he is eventually rescued by a passing ship and, over several years, works his way up to a lucrative Government job restoring his former income and position in society. In the closing lines of the story he receives a message from his former lover, pleading for him to visit her and her daughter.
The description compares the story with the reality of the Titanic, it is from Wikipedia
A description of the experience
Similarities to the Titanic
Although the novel was written before the Olympic-class Titanic had even been designed, there are some remarkable similarities between the fictional and real-life counterparts. Like the Titanic, the fictional ship sank in April in the North Atlantic, and there were not enough lifeboats for the passengers. There are also similarities between the size (800 ft long for Titan versus 882 ft 9 in long for the Titanic), speed (25 knots for Titan, 21 knots for Titanic[) and life-saving equipment.
Beyond the name, the similarities between the Titanic and the fictional Titan include:
Described as "unsinkable"
The Titanic was the world's largest luxury liner (882 feet, displacing 63,000 long tones), and was once described as being practically "unsinkable".
The Titan was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men (800 feet, displacing 75,000 tons), and was considered "unsinkable".
Shortage of lifeboats
The Titanic carried only 16 lifeboats, plus 4 Engelhardt folding lifeboats, less than half the number required for her passenger capacity of 3000.
The Titan carried "as few as the law allowed", 24 lifeboats, less than half needed for her 3000 capacity.
Struck an iceberg
Moving too fast at 22½ knots, the Titanic struck an iceberg on the starboard side on the night of April 14, 1912 in the North Atlantic 400 miles away from Newfoundland.
Also on an April night, in the North Atlantic 400 miles from Newfoundland (Terranova), the Titan hit an iceberg while traveling at 25 knots, also on the starboard side.
The unsinkable Titanic sank, and more than half of her 2200 passengers died.
The indestructible Titan also sank, more than half of her 2500 passengers drowning.
Went down bow first, the Titan actually capsizing before it sank.
Differences between Titanic and Titan
The Titan does not strike the iceberg a glancing blow on a clear night, as is the case with the Titanic, but drives headlong onto an ice shelf, which tears a huge gash in the ship's side, causing major flooding, before the ship rises into the air and capsizes on her starboard side. Then it sinks, bow first.
705 people aboard the Titanic survived, while only 13 of those aboard the Titan survived.
The Titan hit and sank a sailing ship called the Royal Oak. The Titanic came close to an accident with the New York but did not actually hit it.
The Titanic takes over two and a half hours to sink. The Titan took only five minutes.
The Titan had sails to improve her speed; the Titanic did not.
The Titanic was the second of three nearly identical sister ships; the Titan had no sister ships.
Titanic sank while sailing from England to the USA, Titan was traveling in the opposite direction.
When the iceberg was sighted on the Titanic, the message to the bridge was Iceberg right ahead!, but when the iceberg was sighted on the Titan, the message was Ice, ice ahead. Iceberg. Right under the bows.
The Titan had 19 watertight compartments & could stay afloat with 9 compartments flooded. The Titanic had 16 compartments could stay afloat with only 4 compartments flooded.