Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage

The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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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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Not recommended.

This has a lot of unnecessary, salacious back stories that have nothing to do with the actual ship or it’s sinking. Save your money.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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…




5 people found this helpful

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Loved learning more about individual passengers

If you're curious about what led some people to get on the Titanic, how they spent their time on the ship, and how their lives were affected by the sinking in the aftermath, this is an excellent piece of work. It mostly only addresses first class passengers and their employees, but also takes time to acknowledge the privilege the wealthy had over the poor on the ship.

This is also the first Titanic book I've encountered that acknowledges LGBTQ passengers on the ship. There's an entire chapter dedicated to queer folk in the 1910s and it's probably my favorite part of the book. We know about the aristocrats, immigrants, and crew of the Titanic; now you can learn about the confirmed bachelors and Boston marriages as well.

Narrator does a beautiful job, but is extremely slow. Using Audible's speed up function was essential for me to get through this.

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Fascinating

I loved this book as it delves into the lives of some of the passengers before, during and after the sinking. The book got better as it went on (love books that do this) especially the chapters that took place the night of the sinking and also the aftermath. I enjoyed getting to know the families a bit too.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable

I'm learning all the time about the times and lives of the people who lived during this time period! Avid research, and all that glitters was NOT gold!

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Vividly retold

You don’t have to know the history to be transported back in time to witness this tragic story as it relates to those aboard the Titanic.

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Informative. Kept my attention. Quite interesting

I have always been interested in the Titanic and the stories behind her. This is one of the best as far as the telling of the lives of the wealthier survivors, the many lost, and the story itself. The narrator was outstanding. With audiobooks, I am a big fan and have listened to many, the narration is an important piece of the book. Paul was amazing. I found myself enjoying his voice and the way he pronounced every word. I would highly suggest taking the time to read or better yet listen to this if you are a follower of the Titanic.