The sinking of the Titanic has produced a wealth of books, articles, films and TV documentaries, all of which have given very little thought to the dependents and friends of those who lost their lives in this ocean tragedy. A moving and involving story that corrects this neglect, told by a descendant of a Titanic widow – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: The Titanic and the City of Widows It Left Behind, The Forgotten Victims Of The Fatal Voyage FILE: R3220 AUTHOR: Julie Cook PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: shipwreck, ship sinking, steam ship, Atlantic Liner, Mail Liner, unsinkable, North Atlantic, iceberg, ice flows, radio, survivors, lives lost, widows, orphans, victims, financial hardship, White Star ISBN: 1-52675-716-8 PAGES: 140 IMAGE: B3220.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y2dynsnm LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The sinking of the Titanic has produced a wealth of books, articles, films and TV documentaries, all of which have given very little thought to the dependents and friends of those who lost their lives in this ocean tragedy. A moving and involving story that corrects this neglect, told by a descendant of a Titanic widow – Most Highly Recommended
The loss of the Titanic on her maiden crossing of the Atlantic is one of those enduring tales of the sea. From the number of books published since her loss in April 1912, this is an immortal story that will live on well into the future. Even so, there are still many unanswered questions, many conspiracy theories and some new facts. This may explain why other authors have largely ignored the very human tragedy of the widows and orphans of the victims.
The author is the great granddaughter of a victim who left behind a wife and five children. This reviewer had a grandmother who was a lucky escaper of the tragedy. Her son, a strong swimmer, rescued seven girls from drowning in the Solway and one of the girls he rescued was the daughter of the Marine Superintendent at White Star. When the father learned later that the young man’s mother was American and due to visit relatives in the US he offered a State Room on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. In the event, a family situation required the trip to be taken before Titanic was completed and had to be taken on another ship. Probably one of many lucky escapes although, before Titanic sailed, those who did not have a place aboard would have been disappointed in missing what was hailed as the first voyage of a mighty and unsinkable vessel that offered new levels of comfort, at least for the wealthier passengers.
The passengers represented almost a perfect cross section of society with many taking passage in ‘steerage’ and intending to settle in the US, with, at the other end of the scale, some of the wealthiest people, British, American and some other nationalities. As a result, the shadow of the loss of Titanic spread across the world.
The mysteries of Titanic stem from the contrast between the belief of so many in an ‘unsinkable’ ship and the fact that she sank. The loss of life was much higher than expected and raised many questions about the lack of lifeboats, conduct of crew and passengers and the legend created by the ship’s band playing on as she slipped below the waves. There was also the mystery of radio traffic involving a US Navy cruiser. It was claimed that the use of American Morse by the warship and international Morse by shore stations and other ships rushing to the rescue, unnecessary confusion resulted in additional loss of life. After the discovery of the wreck, and some detailed analysis of the remains, more questions have surfaced.
The none are with much certainty, except the effect the loss of crew had on their families ashore. It was a time when most families were large by modern standards, there was no effective social benefit structure, and the widows were often left to fend for themselves and their children. The author tells the story from research and accounts from descendants. How most of them survived the grief and grinding hardship is a story worth the telling, as are the stories of those who did not survive the crushing pressures.