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Picture History of the French Line, par W.H. Miller Jr. (Carmania Press)
For well over a century, the Compagnie Generale Tranatlantique — The French Line — reigned as one of the world's most successful fleets of passenger ships. But by the mid-1970s, with the advent of continent-hopping passenger planes, this company, as well as many other great steamship lines, had largely discontinued passenger service. This impressive pictorial reference by noted maritime historian William H. Miller, Jr., includes a wealth of vintage photographs celebrating the legendary French Line. With its origins dating back to 1855, the company was renowned for ocean liners that were not only dazzling in design and decorative beauty but were also admired for the unique, high level of service offered aboard such formidable ships as the Ile de France, Normandie, Liberté, Colombie, Antilles, Flandre, and France (whose sumptuous interior earned it the nickname "Chateau of the Atlantic"). Over 170 excellent black-and-white photographs focus on the ships' exteriors, but also offer views of luxurious staterooms, cabins, and lounges, as well as exciting glimpses of such celebrity passengers as Maurice Chevalier, Gary Grant, Kim Novak, and Jane Powell. An informative introduction outlines the glittering history of the line and its ships, while an extensive caption for each vessel details prominent characteristics, size, speed, builder, and other data. A nostalgic and loving tribute to the great ships of the French Line, this comprehensive pictorial record will delight marine historians, ocean-liner enthusiasts, and anyone fascinated by the charm of sea travel.
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© Françoise Massard