Lusitania: Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age

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On the 100th Anniversary of its sinking, King and Wilson tell the story of the Lusitania's glamorous passengers and the torpedo that ended an era and prompted the US entry into World War I.
Lusitania: She was a ship of dreams, carrying millionaires and aristocrats, actresses and impresarios, writers and suffragettes – a microcosm of the last years of the waning Edwardian Era and the coming influences of the Twentieth Century. When she left New York on her final voyage, she sailed from the New World to the Old; yet an encounter with the machinery of the New World, in the form of a primitive German U-Boat, sent her – and her gilded passengers – to their tragic deaths and opened up a new era of indiscriminate warfare.

A hundred years after her sinking, Lusitania remains an evocative ship of mystery. Was she carrying munitions that exploded? Did Winston Churchill engineer a conspiracy that doomed the liner? Lost amid these tangled skeins is the romantic, vibrant, and finally heartrending tale of the passengers who sailed aboard her. Lives, relationships, and marriages ended in the icy waters off the Irish Sea; those who survived were left haunted and plagued with guilt. Now, authors Greg King and Penny Wilson resurrect this lost, glittering world to show the golden age of travel and illuminate the most prominent of Lusitania's passengers. Rarely was an era so glamorous; rarely was a ship so magnificent; and rarely was the human element of tragedy so quickly lost to diplomatic maneuvers and militaristic threats.

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About the author

GREG KING is the author of eleven internationally published works of history, specializing in late Imperial Russia and on social history. A frequent contributor and onscreen expert for historical documentaries, he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the bi-monthly European Royal History Journal, and his work has appeared in Majesty Magazine, Royalty Magazine, Royalty Digest, Atlantis Magazine, and the European Royal History Journal. His newest book is The Assassination of the Archduke. PENNY WILSON is the author of three internationally published works of history devoted to late Imperial Russia. Her historical work has appeared in Majesty Magazine, Atlantis Magazine, and Royalty Digest.

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Reviews

3.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Feb 24, 2015
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781466876378
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century
History / Military / World War I
Transportation / Ships & Shipbuilding / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Greg King
Erik Larson
#1 New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
Greg King
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"Never explain, never complain."

Wrongly blamed for the abdication crisis, Wallis suffered hostility from the Royal Family and much of the world. Yet interest in her story has remained constant, resulting in a small library of biographies that convey a thinly veiled animosity toward their subject. The truth, however, is infinitely more fascinating than the shallow, pathetic portrait that has often been painted.

"For a gallant spirit, there can never be defeat."

Using previously untapped sources, acclaimed biographer Greg King presents a complete and, for the first time, sympathetic portrait of the Duchess that sifts the decades of rumor and accusation to reveal the woman behind the legend. From her birth in Pennsylvania during the Gilded Age to her death in Paris in 1986, King takes the reader through a world of privilege, palaces, high society, and love with the accompaniment of hatreds, feuds, conspiracies, and lies. The cast of characters is vast: politicians and presidents, dictators and socialites. Twenty-four pages of photographs reveal the life of the Duchess in all its incomparable glamour and romance.
Greg King
The first comprehensive biography of Sharon Tate: Hollywood star, wife of Roman Polanski, victim of Charles Manson, and symbol of the death of the 1960s.

It began as a home invasion by the “Manson family” in the early hours of August 9, 1969. It ended in a killing spree that left seven people dead: actress Sharon Tate, writer Voyteck Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, hair stylist Jay Sebring, student Steven Parent, and supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
 
The shock waves of these crimes still reverberate today. They have also, over time, eclipsed the life of their most famous victim—a Dallas, Texas, beauty queen with Hollywood aspirations. After more than a dozen small film and television roles, Tate gained international fame with the screen adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, but The Fearless Vampire Killers marked a personal turning point, as she would marry its star and director, Roman Polanski. Tate now had a new dream: to raise a family—and she was only weeks away from giving birth the night Charles Manson’s followers murdered her.
 
Drawn from a wealth of rare material including detective reports, parole transcripts, Manson’s correspondence, and revealing new interviews with Tate’s friends and costars as well as surviving relatives of the murder victims, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders gives readers a vital new perspective on one of the most notorious massacres of the twentieth century. The dark legacy of the cult phenomenon is still being explored in novels (Emma Cline’s The Girls) and TV shows (NBC’s Aquarius).
 
In addition to providing the first full-fledged biography of Sharon Tate, author Greg King finally gives a voice to the families of the slain, notably Tate’s mother, Doris. Her advocacy for victims’ rights was recognized during President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 “A Thousand Points of Light” ceremony. This is the true story of a star who is being rediscovered by a new generation of fans, a woman who achieved in death the fame she yearned for in life.
 
Greg King
Greg King
The first comprehensive biography of Sharon Tate: Hollywood star, wife of Roman Polanski, victim of Charles Manson, and symbol of the death of the 1960s.

It began as a home invasion by the “Manson family” in the early hours of August 9, 1969. It ended in a killing spree that left seven people dead: actress Sharon Tate, writer Voyteck Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, hair stylist Jay Sebring, student Steven Parent, and supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
 
The shock waves of these crimes still reverberate today. They have also, over time, eclipsed the life of their most famous victim—a Dallas, Texas, beauty queen with Hollywood aspirations. After more than a dozen small film and television roles, Tate gained international fame with the screen adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, but The Fearless Vampire Killers marked a personal turning point, as she would marry its star and director, Roman Polanski. Tate now had a new dream: to raise a family—and she was only weeks away from giving birth the night Charles Manson’s followers murdered her.
 
Drawn from a wealth of rare material including detective reports, parole transcripts, Manson’s correspondence, and revealing new interviews with Tate’s friends and costars as well as surviving relatives of the murder victims, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders gives readers a vital new perspective on one of the most notorious massacres of the twentieth century. The dark legacy of the cult phenomenon is still being explored in novels (Emma Cline’s The Girls) and TV shows (NBC’s Aquarius).
 
In addition to providing the first full-fledged biography of Sharon Tate, author Greg King finally gives a voice to the families of the slain, notably Tate’s mother, Doris. Her advocacy for victims’ rights was recognized during President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 “A Thousand Points of Light” ceremony. This is the true story of a star who is being rediscovered by a new generation of fans, a woman who achieved in death the fame she yearned for in life.
 
Greg King
A woman's life can really be a succession of lives, each revolving around some emotionally compelling situation or challenge, and each marked off by some intense experience.

It was the love story of the century--the king and the commoner. In December 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry "the woman I love," Wallis Warfield Simpson, a twice-divorced American who quickly became one of the twentieth century's most famous personalities, a figure of intrigue and mystery, both admired and reviled.

"Never explain, never complain."

Wrongly blamed for the abdication crisis, Wallis suffered hostility from the Royal Family and much of the world. Yet interest in her story has remained constant, resulting in a small library of biographies that convey a thinly veiled animosity toward their subject. The truth, however, is infinitely more fascinating than the shallow, pathetic portrait that has often been painted.

"For a gallant spirit, there can never be defeat."

Using previously untapped sources, acclaimed biographer Greg King presents a complete and, for the first time, sympathetic portrait of the Duchess that sifts the decades of rumor and accusation to reveal the woman behind the legend. From her birth in Pennsylvania during the Gilded Age to her death in Paris in 1986, King takes the reader through a world of privilege, palaces, high society, and love with the accompaniment of hatreds, feuds, conspiracies, and lies. The cast of characters is vast: politicians and presidents, dictators and socialites. Twenty-four pages of photographs reveal the life of the Duchess in all its incomparable glamour and romance.
Greg King
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