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Publisher's Summary

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, 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?"

©2012 Hugh Brewster (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Rachel
  • Atascadero, CA, United States
  • 10-16-18

Lots of interesting details

I’ve read many many books about the titanic and this book provided details I had never read before. However the long history’s is provided on many passengers seemed to be over done. I really wasn’t interested in their lives 50 years before they board the Titanic. Or, and who their grandparents were. Likewise the speculation on who among the passengers might have been homosexuals felt inappropriate and disrespectful.
The passengers, who’s stories I am familiar with were barely considered at all. The Allison family’s story seemed to be nearly ignored. It is one of the most poignant stories of all. I haven’t quite finished the book yet perhaps the author will make up for this oversight before the end.
Hearing the way that passengers abandoned their dogs in their state rooms at the time of the collision while the dogs begged to be taken with them, broke my heart and made me very angry. Especially when hearing that stuffed animals were taken by some passengers…




1 of 1 people found this review helpful