Think of a major shipping disaster and the first to spring to mind is that of the Titanic; however, only two years later, a tragedy of similarly epic proportions took place in the confines of the St Lawrence River in Canada. On a dark night in May 1914 the Norwegian collier Storstad rammed the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland. In less than fifteen minutes over 1,000 people died, either trapped in the ship's hull or drowned trying to escape. They died within sight of land. It was the biggest Canadian maritime disaster in peacetime. Despite the scale of the disaster, and the fact that the ship had an excellent safety record with eight years in service, the Empress has been sadly overlooked. This lavishly illustrated luxury edition seeks to remedy this on the centenary of the tragic event.