On October , the steam ship Royal Charter, bound from Australia to , found itself caught in a fierce storm only miles from its destination. Floundering a to yards off the English coast it went down, carrying nearly 500 souls and pounds of buillion with it. This is the story of that ship and its wreck, one of the worst of modern times. Briefly the author sketches the history of the big, fast, record breaking steamer, and of her skipper, Captain Thomas Taylor. He offers life the way to Liverpool, then the impact of the dread storm. Here, vividly described, is the fear and agony of the passengers, the desperate attempt of the crew to keep the ship afloat, then the beaching and pounding hell of the surf slowly breaking the great iron monster up. The aftermath--the testimony of survivors as to whether Taylor had been drunk (he was posthumously exonerated), the scramble of shore people to recover the gold, and the gradual establishment of the storm as the only villain of the tragedy--are in themselves absorbing chapters. The author concludes by making a skin dive visit to the area of the wreck 100 years after it happened. Very good sea history.