Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

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IN the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the icy waters of the North Atlantic reverberated with the desperate screams of more than 1,500 men, women, and children—passengers of the once majestic liner Titanic. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, an even more awful silence settled over the sea. The sights and sounds of that night would haunt each of the vessel’s 705 survivors for the rest of their days.

Although we think we know the story of Titanic—the famously luxurious and supposedly unsinkable ship that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America—very little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did they cope in the aftermath of this horrific event? How did they come to remember that night, a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town?

Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished letters, memoirs, and diaries as well as interviews with survivors’ family members, award-winning journalist and author Andrew Wilson reveals how some used their experience to propel themselves on to fame, while others were so racked with guilt they spent the rest of their lives under the Titanic’s shadow. Some reputations were destroyed, and some survivors were so psychologically damaged that they took their own lives in the years that followed.

Andrew Wilson brings to life the colorful voices of many of those who lived to tell the tale, from famous survivors like Madeleine Astor (who became a bride, a widow, an heiress, and a mother all within a year), Lady Duff Gordon, and White Star Line chairman J. Bruce Ismay, to lesser known second- and third-class passengers such as the Navratil brothers—who were traveling under assumed names because they were being abducted by their father.

Today, one hundred years after that fateful voyage, Shadow of the Titanic adds an important new dimension to our understanding of this enduringly fascinating story.
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About the author

Andrew Wilson is an award-winning journalist and author. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Sunday Times, and the Smithsonian Magazine. He is the author of four acclaimed biographies, a book about the survivors of the Titanic, and the novels, The Lying Tongue, A Talent for Murder, A Different Kind of Evil, Death in a Desert Land.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 6, 2012
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781451671582
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / General
History / Social History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A modern-day fairy tale infused with the darkness of a Greek tragedy, Alexander McQueen provides “a thorough and emotionally compelling exploration…of a complex and enigmatic artist” (Publishers Weekly). Andrew Wilson’s “magnificent” (The Independent, UK) and “compelling and heavily researched bio” (Entertainment Weekly), featuring never-before-seen photographs and rare interviews, dispels myths, corrects inaccuracies, and shares new insights into McQueen’s private life and the source of his creative genius.
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For most people one sinking would be enough. But four years later Violet, now a nurse with the British Red Cross, was on board the World War I hospital ship BRITANNIC when it struck a mine and sank to the bottom of the Aegean. To her, this disaster was even more horrifying-- “Just as life seeming nothing but a whirling, choking ache, I rose to the light of day, my nose barely above the little lapping waves. I opened my eyes on an indescribable scene of slaughter, which made me shut them again to keep it out."

By the end of her story we have a met a woman who could handle whatever life threw at her with determination and good humor. She knew that only by her own strength of character would she survive. But Titanic Survivor is much more. A unique autobiography for those who want to know how it really felt, a story that could be told only by a Titanic Survivor.
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