Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World

Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World

by Hugh Brewster


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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage takes us behind the paneled doors of the Titanic’s elegant private suites to present compelling, memorable portraits of her most notable passengers. 

The Titanic has often been called "An exquisite microcosm of the Edwardian era,” but until now, her story has not been presented as such. In Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage, historian Hugh Brewster seamlessly interweaves personal narratives of the lost liner’s most fascinating people with a haunting account of the fateful maiden crossing.

Employing scrupulous research and featuring 100 rarely seen photographs, he accurately depicts the ship’s brief life and tragic denouement and presents compelling, memorable portraits of her most notable passengers: millionaires John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim; President Taft's closest aide, Major Archibald Butt; writer Helen Churchill Candee; the artist Frank Millet; movie actress Dorothy Gibson; the celebrated couturiere Lady Duff Gordon; aristocrat Noelle, the Countess of Rothes; and a host of other travelers. Through them, we gain insight into the arts, politics, culture, and sexual mores of a world both distant and near to our own. And with them, we gather on the Titanic’s sloping deck on that cold, starlit night and observe their all-too-human reactions as the disaster unfolds. More than ever, we ask ourselves, “What would we have done?”

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307984814
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Hugh Brewster has twenty-five years of experience in creating books about the Titanic as an editor, publisher, and writer. He worked with Robert D. Ballard to produce the 1987 international bestseller The Discovery of the Titanic and oversaw the creation of Titanic: An Illustrated History, a book that provided inspiration for James Cameron’s epic movie.  Brewster is also the author of Inside the Titanic, 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to All Your Questions About the Titanic, and Deadly Voyage and has written twelve award-winning books for young readers, including Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, which was chosen as one of the best books of 2007 by the Washington Post. He lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Prologue A Rare Gathering 1

1 At the Cherbourg Quay 5

2 A Nomadic Hiatus 17

3 The Palm Room 29

4 "Queer Lot of People" 47

5 Queenstown 63

6 Fellow Travelers 75

7 Private Lives 91

8 Shipboard Coteries 107

9 Designing Woman 121

10 A Calm Sunday 137

11 The Last Evening 149

12 Collision and After 163

13 To the Lifeboats 179

14 The Final Minutes 197

15 Voices in the Night 211

16 The Ship of Sorrow 229

17 Two Continents Stirred 247

Postscript Titanic Afterlives 271

Notes 291

Appendix A 307

Appendix B 309

Bibliography 311

Acknowledgments 319

Photograph and Illustration Credits 323

Index 325

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