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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Titanic Adventure Indiana Jones
The Titanic Adventure
Written by Les Martin
Cover art by Peter Peebles

Indy and a newly-wealthy Miss Seymour board the RMS Titanic for its maiden voyage.


Read the "Late March–Early April, 1912 - April 15, 1912" entries of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this book


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This book takes place April 8-15, 1912. 


Didja Know?


The Young Indiana Jones original novels (not to be confused with the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles novelizations) are a series of juvenile novels written from 1990-1995. Though numbered 1-15, they do not take place in chronological order and cover the years 1912-1914. Young Indiana Jones and the Titanic Adventure is book #9 in the series.


In this adventure, Indy and Miss Seymour board the RMS Titanic for its infamous maiden voyage across the Atlantic from Southampton, England, sinking before it arrives in New York City after hitting an iceberg on the night of April 14-15, 1912.


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The journal as published skips over this time in Indy's life. In fact, it goes from September 1909 to June 1912...a period of almost three years! Are we to believe that Indy made no journal entries that entire time? Perhaps the entries were excised by the Russians for some reason when it was in their possession?


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Indiana Jones

Arthur Conan Doyle

Helen Seymour

Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

Anna Jones (mentioned only)

Dr. Joseph Bell (mentioned only, deceased)

Madame Baclava's butler

Madame Baclava

Roger Seymour (mentioned only, deceased)

Mrs. Seymour (mentioned only, deceased)

the Seymours' son (mentioned only, deceased)

Colonel Osmond Gilbert (presumed to have died aboard Titanic)

Hawkins/Helmut (purser/German saboteur, dies in this book)

Captain Edward Smith (dies in this book)

Thomas Andrews (dies in this book)

wealthy woman

Archibald (Pekingese, mentioned only)

John Jacob Astor (dies in this book)

Madeleine Astor

Roger Sampson/Karl (dies in this book)

Professor Khan (presumed to have died aboard Titanic)

Molly Kincaid

Otto Dietrich

Kaiser Franz Joseph I (mentioned only)

Countess von Hoch (mentioned only)

Count von Hoch (mentioned only)

Charlie (presumed to have died aboard Titanic)

Pat Leary (dies in this book)

pool attendant (presumed to have died aboard Titanic)

Bruce Ismay (mentioned only)

purser (presumed to have died aboard Titanic)


Didja Notice?


Indy is excited to get to meet author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), creator of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle had been knighted by King Edward VII in 1902. Indy and Conan Doyle meet at Claridge's Hotel in the Mayfair district of London.


Indy is using his spring vacation from school to visit with his former tutor Helen Seymour and stay at her new home in Oxford. Miss Seymour has recently inherited wealth after the death of her cousin Roger Seymour and his son.


On page 6, Indy muses a bit on his family's 'round-the-world trip during his father's lecture tour and his tutoring by Miss Seymour at the time. This refers to the "Little Indy" episodes of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series. The tour ended near the end of 1910.


Page 7 reveals that Indy had come over to England on the cruise ship United States, which held the transatlantic speed record. There was an S.S. United States that held the transatlantic speed record, but it was not built until 1950! There was another S.S. United States cruise liner at the time of this story, but it is not known for any records. It was owned by Scandinavian America Line and sailed between New York and Copenhagen, Denmark, not to England. Perhaps the author got the two ships mixed up in his research?


Page 7 also mentions that British policemen did not carry guns. This is true of the majority of British police officers under normal conditions.


Indy takes the train from Oxford to Paddington Station for his meeting with Conan Doyle.


On page 8, Indy walks past Hyde Park. Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks of London, covering about 350 acres.


On pages 8-9, a bomb goes off in a street-corner mailbox. The bystanders blame the women's suffrage movement for it. Women did not get a national right to vote in the United Kingdom until laws were passed in 1918 and 1928. Women got the right to vote nationally in the United States in 1920.


On page 12, Conan Doyle enjoys watching young Indy eat heartily, with Conan Doyle telling him both of his sons are grown up. But, at this time, he had one adult son and 3-year old and 2-year old sons!


On pages 12-13, Indy tells Conan Doyle he'd like to be both a detective and an archaeologist as his career.


On page 13, Conan Doyle tells Indy he based Sherlock Holmes on one of his teachers in medical school, Joseph Bell. This is true. Dr. Bell (1837-1911) was known for urging his students to pay attention to minute details to aid in reaching a conclusion. He also aided in several police investigations in his day, often with the help of Dr. Henry Littlejohn (1826-1914), not so far removed from Holmes and Dr. Watson!


On page 14, Conan Doyle tells Indy that Holmes is no longer really needed in the modern world, with the men of Scotland Yard able to find criminals. Scotland Yard is the name for the headquarters building of the Metropolitan Police of London.


Conan Doyle takes Indy to see a fortune teller called Madame Baclava at a town house in Knightsbridge on Hans Crescent. Knightsbridge is a residential and retail district in central London. Hans Crescent is an actual street in Knightsbridge. The Harrods department store they pass along the way is also real. Madame Baclava appears to be a fictitious character, but Conan Doyle was known early on for his interest in paranormal phenomena and mystical subjects.


    On page 17, Madame Baclava seems to foretell the coming of WWI and the death of someone very close to Conan Doyle in the coming war. WWI raged from 1914-1918 and Conan Doyle's son Kingsley died of pneumonia contracted after being seriously wounded in the war in 1916.

    On page 18, Madame Baclava foretells Indy's upcoming voyage on the sea and a gigantic (that is to say, titanic) catastrophe.


On page 20, Conan Doyle tells Indy he'll think of him as he's writing his next Holmes story.  His next Holmes story was "The Adventure of the Dying Detective" in 1913, but it doesn't have anything to do with a boy or an archaeologist as far as I know!


On page 21, Indy and Miss Seymour have boarded a train to Southampton at Waterloo Station.


Part of Miss Seymour's inheritance is the Shalimar Diamond, which turns out to be a prize looted from an Indian temple. This is a fictitious artifact.


On Page 23, Indy notices that Colonel Osmond Gilbert's suit came from an exclusive Savile Row tailor. Savile Row is a street in Mayfair known for its custom tailoring shops.


When Colonel Gilbert expresses astonishment that Miss Seymour is not married, she tells him, "I fear I have been too particular. None of all who asked me ever won my heart." This may be why she once told Indy, when he asked if she thinks he's in love (with Princess Sophie in "The Perils of Cupid"), she responds, "We all fall in love, Henry. Some of us too soon. And some of us too late."


Seeing the Titanic at port on page 28, Indy recalls seeing her measurements in an ad, describing her as over 882 feet long and weighing more than 46,000 tons. Possibly the ad he saw is the one at right.


Page 30 states that Miss Seymour will be staying in America for three weeks when they arrive there. Yet, she is still with them in June in The Pirates' Loot.


Page 31 states that the fourth of the Titanic's four smoke stacks was a dummy stack, there just for looks. While this is mostly true, the fourth stack did provide ventilation for the galleys and also served as a chimney of sorts for the first class smoking room as well.


The incident with the S.S. New York's mooring lines breaking due to the suction effect of the Titanic powering out of dock is true. The ship's full name was SS City of New York.


Captain Edward Smith and Thomas Andrews were the actual captain and designer respectively of the Titanic, as depicted in this book.


The purser's statement that the ship's lifeboats could hold up to 65 people each and the ship could carry up to 3,500 passengers is accurate.


As the Titanic crosses the English Channel, Indy recalls that it will stop at Cherbourg, France to pick up more passengers and then stop at an Irish port (Queenstown, now known as Cobh) to pick up more before heading to New York.


At Cherbourg, the wealthy John Jacob Astor and his second wife come aboard. Astor was one of the richest men in the world at the time and he died with the sinking of the ship. His wife, Madeleine, survived.


Aboard Titanic, Indy meets Scotland Yard inspector Roger Sampson. This appears to be a fictitious character.


On page 41, Indy, Miss Seymour, and Colonel Gilbert enjoy an after-dinner drink and ice cream at the ship's French cafe. The Titanic actually did have such a "sidewalk cafe".


Page 42 introduces Professor Khan of Calcutta University.


On page 45, Indy does a count of the lifeboats aboard ship and finds 16 plus 4 collapsible boats. This is the correct (insufficient) number of lifeboats that were on Titanic.


On page 47, Molly refers to herself as a "colleen". This is an Irish term for "girl".


On page 60, Sampson tells Indy that an ocean liner even bigger than Titanic was being built in Hamburg, Germany due to a sea trade war between England and Germany. Though I've been unable to confirm a bigger ship was being built at the time, it's likely true, as there was an intense competition among companies providing transatlantic shipping and passenger services at the time.


After Indy reports to Sampson what he overheard some Germans saying about sinking the Titanic, Sampson's prime suspect becomes German opera singer Otto Dietrich, a friend of the Kaiser's. Dietrich appears to be a fictional character, though the author may have borrowed the name from the Otto Dietrich who would become a Nazi confidant of Adolf Hitler. The Kaiser of the Austrian empire (which included Germany) at the time was Franz Joseph I of Austria (the uncle of Indy's love interest Princess Sophie in "The Perils of Cupid").


    When Dietrich catches Indy spying on him, he thinks the boy was sent by Count von Hoch due to an affair he'd had with Countess von Hoch of which he is now trying to escape the negative publicity. The Count and Countess von Hoch appear to be fictitious.

    Dietrich notes that the audience even hissed at him in Berlin.


Dietrich sings some Richard Wagner arias for Indy. Wagner (1813-1883) was a German composer known for his operas.


On page 83, Sampson quotes Kipling as saying, "The female of the species is more deadly than the male." The line is from the 1911 poem "The Female of the Species" by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).


On page 86, Indy decides to re-read The Hound of the Baskervilles. This is the third of Conan Doyle's four Sherlock Holmes novels, published in 1902.


On page 95, the attendant at the ship's pool tells Indy that the cold weather they've suddenly come into is normal, as they are nearing the Labrador Current, which emits from the Arctic down the North American coast. This is a true phenomenon, known to bring icebergs from the north.


With all the exercise he's getting working out with Dietrich, Indy muses he'll be ready to try out for the Olympics, set for Stockholm that summer. The modern Olympic Games (inspired by the ancient Greek Olympics c. 776 BC-393 AD) began in 1896, featuring amateur athletes engaged in numerous sports competitions in representation of their home countries. The modern Olympics continue, of course, to this day. 1912's Olympics did, in fact, take place in Stockholm, Sweden.


Page 97 mentions that Bruce Ismay is the director of the White Star Line. This was true and he was aboard ship for the maiden voyage. He was one of the survivors.


On page 102, Leary reveals he was one of the men who worked on building the Titanic in the Belfast shipyard. Titanic was indeed built in Belfast, (Northern) Ireland at the Harland and Wolff shipyard.


On page 106, Indy sees a Renault automobile in the cargo hold of the ship.


On page 130, Indy is pleased to see Miss Seymour, having lost her recent wealth, back to the Miss Seymour he knew, "A very tough lady." In the opening bookend of "My First Adventure", Old Indy referred to Miss Seymour as "one tough old bird."


On page 131, the ship's band is playing on deck even though the ship has begun to tilt and sink. This is true. The band kept playing in an attempt to keep the passengers calm as the lifeboats were loaded. The entire eight-member band died.


Miss Seymour vows to write a letter to the London Times about having lifeboat drills on cruise ships in the future.


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