A Rare Titanic Family: How the Caldwells Survived the Sinking and Traveled the World

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A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells' Story of Survival

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Williams (journalism, Samford Univ.; Wings of Opportunity) presents a warm biography of her great-uncle by marriage, his first wife, and their son—one of the few families to escape intact from the sinking of Titanic. Albert and Sylvia Caldwell had served as Presbyterian missionaries in Siam (now Thailand) for about a year when Sylvia became ill after their son was born. The family desperately wished to return to America, but they first had to battle the Foreign Missions Board for permission to break their contracts. After an arduous journey across Asia and Europe, they felt lucky to secure passage on the luxurious new ship. VERDICT Related with obvious affection for her great-uncle, the author also gives a good sense of the difficulties in piecing together family histories and how even close relatives might not know the whole story. In addition to Titanic buffs, genealogists and missionary history readers will like this.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588382825
  • Publisher: NewSouth, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 977,353
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: A Vast Ocean of Things I Didn't Know ix

1 Of Those in Peril on the Sea 3

2 As Far From the Sea as a Person Could Get 15

3 Caught in a Maelstrom 33

4 Deliver Us from Seasickness 57

5 To the Lifeboats-Women and Children First! 71

6 'To See How the Sea Flap-Dragoned It' 80

7 Pull for the Shore, Sailor 96

8 Tossed on the Ocean of Life 117

9 Navigating New Waters 134

10 Phantom from a Watery Grave 155

Afterword: Titanic Memorabilia 169

Sources of Information 173

Illustration Credits 187

Index 188

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This is the story of a rare family by an extraordinarily capable and careful historian, who also happens to be the niece of one of the survivors. A compelling and honest read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read Biography

    April 12, 2012 will mark 100 years since the Titanic sank. Julie Williams is the great-niece of Albert Caldwell. Albert and his first wife Sylvia went to college together, accepted a mission to Siam and then married. The day they married they left for their new life. Sylvia was not recommended to go because of possible future health issues. She went anyway. The weather was very agreeable with Albert. A combination of the tropical weather and pregnancy made Sylvia very sick. After Alden was born she just couldn't seem to get her strength back. She was unable to hold her own child. Upon the recommendation of a doctor the Caldwells left Siam, headed to Europe where they ended up on the ill-fated Titanic. Albert was a very personable person. He made friends with everyone. According to Mrs. Williams it is because of this that he and his wife and child managed to survive.
    Julie Williams has told a story that was passed down to her from Albert. She became so intrigued she had to find out more. A photograph started it all, and graces the cover of the book. This biography held my attention not only because of the topic, but because of the other story. Haunted by the Titanic and Hunted by the Presbyterian mission board took its toll on their marriage. This story was told in a hauntingly beautiful way. It is full of emotions and memories but doesn't dwell on the macabre. This is a book I will most definitely recommend to my friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    story of a family and collision course with a diaster and destiny

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    I haven't read the book yet

    I haven't read the book yet

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Very Compelling

    This is an amazing story of love, faith and courage. You must read this book this year.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012


    Nice book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Interesting read

    This book takes you from the beginning of their lives through their deaths. Tells how people cope with going through tragic circumstances.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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