Of the 2,240 people aboard the ship, 1,517 perished either by drowning or by freezing to death in the frigid North Atlantic waters. What followed the disaster was tantamount to a worldwide outpouring of grief: In New York, Paris, London, and other major cities, people lined the streets and crowded around the offices of the White Star Line, the Titanic’s shipping company, to inquire for news of their loved ones and for details about the lives of some of the famous people of their time.
While many accounts of the Titanic’s voyage focus on the technical or mechanical aspects of why the ship sank, Voyagers of the Titanic follows the stories of the men, women, and children whose lives intersected on the vessel’s fateful last day, covering the full range of first, second, and third class—from plutocrats and captains of industry to cobblers and tailors looking for a better life in America.
Richard Davenport-Hines delves into the fascinating lives of those who ate, drank, reveled, dreamed, and died aboard the mythic ship: from John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest person on board, whose comportment that night was subject to speculation and gossip for years after the event, to Archibald Butt, the much-beloved military aide to Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, who died helping others into the Titanic’s few lifeboats. With magnificent prose, Voyagers of the Titanic also brings to life the untold stories of the ship’s middle and third classes—clergymen, teachers, hoteliers, engineers, shopkeepers, counterjumpers, and clerks—each of whom had a story that not only illuminates the fascinating ship but also the times in which it sailed. In addition, Davenport-Hines explores the fascinating politics behind the Titanic’s creation, which involved larger-than-life figures such as J. P. Morgan, the ship’s owner, and Lord Pirrie, the ship’s builder.
The memory of this tragedy still remains a part of the American psyche and Voyagers of the Titanic brings that clear night back to us with all of its drama and pathos.
My mother-in-law, The Queen Bee, could not wait to read this one and this is what she had to say...
|With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the people whose lives were forever changed by it. I began the book eager to get information and believe me that it what you get. At times, too much information and a lot of skimming through some chapters. Describing the first class passengers actually got a bit boring, as they were essentially the same. Most of the men who traveled were interested in the speed of the ship; most of the women were interested in the monied guests and gossip aboard the ship. The second class passengers were more interesting, with most of them being fairly well off financially, just not willing to spend the extra for first class. From all accounts, whether you were first, second or third class, the accommodations aboard the Titanic were the best that any ship to date had to offer. The most interesting of all passengers were t hose traveling third class. From all over Europe they came to sail to America and better lives ( or they had hoped) Most had family in America who had scrimped and saved to get the rest of the family over the Atlantic and into the land of hope. As the author starts describing the lives of the third class, he also begins to tell the reader that most of these people, did not make it. After I read a particularly sad story of a young girl, only five and a survivor, that remembered being lowered into the lifeboat with her mother and younger sisters, while her father and two brothers stood bravely on deck saying their goodbyes..I had to close the book. I have not picked it up since. I did not even skip to the end to see how the book turned out, we all know how it turned out. I do recommend this book to anyone who wants to know who was aboard the ship and why. It was all very interesting and all very tragic.|
As I would expect, this story is gut wrenching. I still want to read it though and think it is so interesting to learn about those about the ship. If you are at all interested in history I would say this is a must read. Pick up your copy today on Amazon... I am so pleased to tell you that the publisher, Harper Collins, is giving one lucky RBM reader a copy of Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines. Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! To enter click "read more" and use the the Rafflecopter form provided.
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