How to Survive the Titanic

How to Survive the Titanic

2.8 14
by Frances Wilson
     
 

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A brilliantly original and gripping new look at the sinking of the Titanic through the prism of the life and lost honor of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner

Books have been written and films have been made, we have raised the Titanic and watched her go down again on numerous occasions, but out of the wreckage Frances Wilson spins a new

Overview

A brilliantly original and gripping new look at the sinking of the Titanic through the prism of the life and lost honor of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner

Books have been written and films have been made, we have raised the Titanic and watched her go down again on numerous occasions, but out of the wreckage Frances Wilson spins a new epic: when the ship hit the iceberg on April 14, 1912, and one thousand men, lighting their last cigarettes, prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner and inheritor of the White Star fortune, jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety.

Accused of cowardice and of dictating the Titanic’s excessive speed, Ismay became, according to one headline, “The Most Talked-of Man in the World.” The first victim of a press hate campaign, he never recovered from the damage to his reputation, and while the other survivors pieced together their accounts of the night, Ismay never spoke of his beloved ship again.

In the Titanic’s mail room was a manuscript by that great narrator of the sea, Joseph Conrad, the story of a man who impulsively betrays a code of honor and lives on under the strain of intolerable guilt. But it was Conrad’s great novel Lord Jim, in which a sailor abandons a sinking ship, leaving behind hundreds of passengers in his charge, that uncannily predicted Ismay’s fate. Conrad, the only major novelist to write about the Titanic, knew more than anyone what ships do to men, and it is with the help of his wisdom that Wilson unravels the reasons behind Ismay’s jump and the afterlives of his actions.

Using never-before-seen letters written by Ismay to the beautiful Marion Thayer, a first-class passenger with whom he had fallen in love during the voyage, Frances Wilson explores Ismay’s desperate need to tell his story, to make sense of the horror of it all, and to find a way of living with the consciousness of lost honor. For those who survived the Titanic, the world was never the same. But as Wilson superbly demonstrates, we all have our own Titanics, and we all need to find ways of surviving them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062094568
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/18/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
945,573
File size:
47 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Frances Wilson was educated at Oxford University and lectured on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature for fifteen years before becoming a full-time writer. Her books include Literary Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers and The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life, which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. She reviews widely in the Britishpress and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She divides her time between London and Normandy.

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How to Survive the Titanic 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm about half way through this book right now and debating whether I want to waste more time with it. The author seems to beat to death each and every issue he examines. He devoted a whole chapter on why Ismay jumped/fell/pushed into the boat. I could have written the whole thing in 2 pages. But Wilson examines it every which direction and points of view. Another chapter was devote to the book Lord Jim, and what the similarities were between the two people. I got through the first couple pages of that chapter and skipped the rest. There was a little bit of background on Ismay and his family life, business life. Nothing on the building of the Titanic or problems encounters, or why it sank. But then I am only half way through the book. So far, I would not recommend it unless it came onto the .99cent deal offer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms Wilson's book contains many inaccuracies, distorted information and factual errors, this may be permissible, for purely fictional books, but not when real people and events are involved. The book states that it was White Star policy to stop crew's pay at the time the ship went down. This was British Maritime Practice to stop crew's pay as soon as they had no ship to serve on right up to the second word war, for most, if not all, even if they had been torpedoed. The Titanic had more lifeboats on board than the Law required.If Mr Ismay had not entered the last lifeboat, with a Mr Carter, which was being lowered, not full, and with no other passengers in sight, this would simply added one more to the casualty list. Both the British and American enquires exonerated Mr Ismay of any wrongdoing, although there were those at both enquiries, who had an axe to grind and tried to incriminate him and use him as a scapegoat. In this anniversary year, of this tragic accident, and in these enlightened times, this persecution of him for profit should cease.
Nuclear_Mike More than 1 year ago
Good coverage of the Titanic and Ismay but it got into James Conrad and "Lord Jim" more than it needed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating but has bizarre chunks dedicated to Joseph Conrad as author tries to draw parallels between Conrad's characters and J.Bruce Ismay. I found the tactic dreary and distracting. Ismay and others, while fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way, are not likeable characters overall.
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macaer More than 1 year ago
An insightful analysis of what happens to bosses when they fail miserably. Sometimes the book veers off into a treatise on Joseph Conrad which is also interesting but not really necessary to the book, but it does highlight the hubris and self-delusion that sometimes intercedes in the decisions that are made by high level executives within the box and competition of corporate win at all cost capitalism. Think any Wall Streeter would benefit from reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading anything about the Titanic, and when i saw this and read the first paragraph, i instantly fell in love with this author, who is new to me. He captivated me right from the first paragraph and i couldnt put this one down. It is so interesting to get to know what these real people went through instead of just reading about the ship only. Great book, i loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It sad that millon people died in the titanic My great great grapa died in the titanic