Robert Plant writes about the voyage of the real Titanic passengers, John Harper and his six year old daughter, Annie (Nana). For obvious reasons, this is written as historical fiction. The book tells of a train journey to Southampton, embarking on the Titanic and possible events of the voyage including meeting the famous Astors and the Captain. The events of the night of 14th/15th April 1912 are covered and include how Nana was rescued as well as the documented events as John Harper witnessed to others of the saving power of the Lord Jesus, even while in the water.
The book is well written and suitable for children. My younger children have been quite interested in the Titanic, for some time, so this book was ideal. My five year old loved hearing about a child of her own age. I must say that I found the book fascinating and particularly once we realised that John and Nana Harper's home, at the time of the voyage, was in London.
John Harper was minister of Walworth Road Baptist church and lived in Denmark Hill, Surrey. We live in London so after a little research the children and I set off to find whether his house still existed and the site of the church.
Denmark Hill would now be described as being in London, not Surrey and is about three miles down the road from the site of Walworth Road Baptist church. This area was subject to a considerable amount of bombing in the Second World War followed by redevelopment so we weren't sure that we would find the house. However, rather to my surprise, we were able to identify it.
Sadly, Walworth Road Baptist church no longer exists. It appears to have been demolished in 1950. It was close to a housing development which is itself now empty and waiting for redevelopment. The actual site of the church seems to have been used for a petrol station. What fascinated me was that Walworth Road Baptist church was only 0.3mile from the Metropolitan (Spurgeon's) Tabernacle which in 1912 was being pastored by Dr A.C. Dixon and is still, very much, in existence today.
I was unable to find a picture of Walworth Road Baptist church but did find references to it in the biography of C.H. Spurgeon by G.Holden Pike. This included Spurgeon attending its opening service.
Anyway, this is the current site-rather sad and awaiting redevelopment.
I don't know whether John Harper ever prayed these lines
May I live a life of faith,
May I die Thy people's death
but they certainly seem to characterise his life and death.
I recommend this book. It is suitable for children from about five if read aloud but has plenty in it to interest older children.
Titanic:the Ship of Dreams was provided to me by Christian Focus as an e-book. The opinions are entirely my own.