Even before her launch, RMS Queen Mary earned a special place in history. Job number 534, as the new Cunard liner was kwn, was Britain's largest passenger ship by far. In 1930, construction was begun, but as the stranglehold of The Depression tightened, Cunard anunced that work was to cease. The half-finished hull sat on Clydebank for over two years, but was far from forgotten. For the people of Britain, 534 became a beacon of hope; a barometer of the nation's ecomy. And so it was coincidence that on the day work at John Brown's shipyard resumed, prices on the London Stock Exchange shot up. A new age had dawned. Without so much as entering the water, the new ship had won the hearts and minds of the British public. A few months later the first of a long line of 'firsts' began for the new liner. Britain's first ship over 1000 feet in length was ready to be launched. It would be the first occasion of its kind it to be reported live by BBC radio; and for the first time the consort of a reigning British monarch would do the hours. The liner's 31-year ocean-going career would break countless records and re-write history. And her popularity soon spread across the Atlantic as she won the affection of America. Today, she is enjoying retirement in the sun in Pier J, Long Beach, California as a floating hotel and events centre. Author David Ellery poses the 101 most crucial questions about her, from design, construction and machinery to stories concerning her name, interior design, and retirement, and provides detailed but concise answers to each one. How fast was Queen Mary? Is it true the Queen Mary is haunted? Is the new Queen Mary 2 anything like the original Queen Mary? The result is a thoroughly engaging and informative book that provides the essential information to the world's very last remaining 1930s superliner.
David Ellery is the author of two books: RMS Queen Mary: The World's Favourite Liner and QE2; The Last Great Liner. He is also a freelance feature writer and writes/directs television documentaries, one of which will be aired to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the ship's maiden voyage in May 2006. Davif lives in Southampton.