Shadow of the Titanic
The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived
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|Format:||Paperback, 400 pages|
|Other Information: ||Illustrations, ports.|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 01 March 2012|
In the early hours of 15 April 1912, after the majestic liner Titanic had split apart and the 1,500 men, women and children struggled to stay alive in the freezing Atlantic, the sea was alive with the sound of screaming. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, a deathly silence settled over the sea. Yet the echoes of that night reverberated through the lives of each of the 705 survivors. Shadow of the Titanic tells the extraordinary stories of some of those who survived. Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night, in effect a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town? Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking, Shadow of the Titanic sheds new light on this enduringly fascinating story, by showing how the disaster continued to shape the lives of a cross-section of passengers who escaped the sinking ship.
About the Author
Andrew Wilson is a journalist who has written for the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Telegraph and the Observer. He is the author of the critically acclaimed BEAUTIFUL SHADOW: A LIFE OF PATRICIA HIGHSMITH, THE LYING TONGUE, HAROLD ROBBINS: THE MAN WHO INVENTED SEX and SHADOW OF THE TITANIC.
There's just no rowing away from the 1912 shipwreck's tragic backwash in this melodramatic biographical sketchbook. Journalist Wilson (Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith) surveys Titanic survivors' after-stories and chalks up everything he can-suicides, accidental deaths, public disgraces, divorces, remarriages, frigid failures to marry, feelings of angst, embracings of life-to the disaster's legacy. He sometimes visits steerage but focuses on flamboyant first-class passengers like White Star Lines chairman Bruce Ismay, who was pilloried for not going down with the ship; an Astor widow who pursued a scandalous, violent relationship with a much-younger Italian boxer; and unsinkable fashionista Lady Duff Gordon, who shrugged off allegations that she voted against returning in the lifeboat to rescue floundering victims. The author unconvincingly manufactures Freudian complexes for his subjects to psychoanalytically link their every subsequent dysfunction and misfortune to the fatal iceberg. ("The guilt that came with surviving the Titanic.lay heavy upon her heart until finally it could stand it no longer," he theorizes when movie star-survivor Dorothy Gibson succumbs to high blood pressure and coronary failure thirty-two years after the sinking.) Wilson gives a gripping account of the shipwreck proper, but the long denouement feels like a trumped-up soap opera. Agent: Clare Alexander. (Mar. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Wilson (Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith) offers engaging portraits of the survivors of the world's best-known shipwreck and how they lived with (or repressed) their memories of the event. For some, survival inspired a carpe diem spirit and a determination to live life to the fullest; for others, it brought on nervous breakdowns and social ostracism, particularly for the men who escaped in lifeboats. The most poignant stories are those of the survivors who were plagued by additional tragedies, who died young or committed suicide. Conversely, the longest-lived survivors became beloved symbolic figures of minor celebrity. VERDICT The author makes good use of archival and published sources and his own recently conducted interviews. This is a captivating read that begins where most other Titanic books end. (Illustrations not seen.) [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/11.] (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Publisher: ||Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Dimensions: ||19.0 x 13.0 centimeters (0.31 kg)|