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[Note 101.1] Brunel agreed to launch the ship on 3 November 1857…
At 12:30 pm Henrietta (daughter of a major fund-raiser for the ship, Henry Thomas Hope) chris-tened the ship Leviathan much to everyone's sur-prise since she was commonly known as Great Eastern; The failure of the launch of 'Leviathan' was reported in the Newcastle press [i]
her name subsequently changed back to Great Eastern in July 1858. After her succeful launch in January. [ii]

References:

[i] Newcastle Courant 06 November 1857 and Newcastle Journal - Saturday 07 November 1857
[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Eastern

[Note 101.2] Dimensions correct She was 211 m (692 ft) long, 25 m (82 ft) wide [i] Corvan could easily have obtained details about the ship. For example on 21st February 1857 "Captain O'Brian, the secretary and general manager of the North-Eastern Railway...delivered a lecture on naval architecture, and in the course of which he gave an interesting and graphic description of the magnificent iron-screw steamship called the Great Eastern, now building on the river Thames. …Captain O'Brian illustrated his lecture by a beautiful model of the Great Eastern and by suitable diagrams" [ii]

References:
[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Eastern#Launch
[ii] Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury -21 February 1857

[Note 101.3] The trees seem to have been poetic licence on the part of the author.

[Note 101.4] Sources give varying speeds for the vessel of 13 or 14 knots.
13 knots = 16 miles per hour (26 kilometers per hour)
Significantly the author says the the estimate of 20 miless per hour was made 'before they try hor'. Her first voyage was in September 1859

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Eastern
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/SS_Great_Eastern

[Note 101.5] The descrion of the launch as "one-sided" fits the succesful launch on 31 January 1858, when the ship was launched sideways aided by an unusually high tide and strong winds and using more powerful hydraulic rams.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Eastern#Launch

 

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