The Edwardian period is often viewed as an idyllic time, especially in Britain. Queen Victoria had died, taking a whole era of prudish values and rigid social etiquette with her.
Her son Edward VII had also passed on, but his son George hadn't yet made his mark as monarch. Everyone still considered themselves to be Edwardian; and it was a time of decadence.
The gold standard and the Empire had made the country rich. Female skirts rose an inch, in order to show ankles. Revolution was in the air, but that didn't yet seem threatening to the social order. It merely involved women silly enough to think they could vote.
Industry was powering on, with the Titanic the very epitome of that. A vast, glorious, unsinkable ocean liner, that sailed as a symbol of Britain's might. British ingenuity had designed that. It had been built in the United Kingdom using craftspeople from all four countries.
The pride in which she sailed was immense. Britannia well and truly did rule the waves.
But then she sank. The shockwaves didn't just start and end in the vicinity of the wreck, but back at home too. The whole world had witnessed that engineering shame, which probably did contribute to how well it was remembered too. Given what happened next, Britain probably never did get over it.
Within two years, the Great War was raging and the halcyon days were over. The gold standard was lost to the American dollar. Thousands perished in a senseless war; followed by the deadly Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which awaited the survivors.
Austerity led only to the Great Depression, which in turn segued into the Second World War, the Blitz and the loss of the British Empire. All within thirty years of the Titanic sinking.
Why does the Titanic disaster have such a powerful hold on the British imagination? It's because it's been picked over, time and again, like a scab. It was the ultimate symbol of Edwardian ease; a nostalgic memory for those who recalled Britain in its golden age.
It was the moment when it all started to go wrong. Britain, like Titanic, had once been brilliant; and now they were both an almighty shipwreck.