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?”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307984814
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 203,553
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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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books about the Titanic, its building, voyage and sinking. But I have always looked for one that goes deeper into the lives of the passengers, especially first class. This book has great detail. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exactly what it claims to be. Well researched, well written book that delivers an unsentimental look at the lives and character of Titanic's wealthiest passengers. I particularly liked the chapter that told what became of the survivors after the wreck.
ljldml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With the 100th anniversary of Titanic's tragic ending upon our doorstep, this is a fitting book to be released now. It centers on the first class passengers of the famed ship. Their lives before and (for those who lived) after the sinking. This is a highly readable and enjoyable book. It is immediately obvious that a great deal of research went into the writing of this book.A wonderful addition to the many books about Titanic. Fitting for the anniversary year.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been a long time since I have read a Titanic book, but even so I think this one is a little different than the ones I remember reading. One can tell a great amount of research has gone into this very readable and informative book, centering on the many of the people on board the Titanic and their backs stories. The usual descriptions of the dinners and the luxury found on the boat is there as well, but it also covers what many of the people did while on the boat. Somehow or another getting to know a little more about these people made the evacuation and the sinking even more personal and tragic. This is a good albeit chilling read.
etxgardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book focuses on the lives of the first class passengers aboard the ill fated luxury liner Titanic. The first half of the book id slow going as the author outlines the back-stories of upper class passengers, and quite frankly, was not very interesting to me.The book, however, becomes riveting once the ship strikes the iceberg and the reader is given an intimate view into the good, the bad, and the ugly of what happened as the ship went down. The author also gives us a look at the passengers aboard the Carpathia. after the ship picks them up at sea and the media frenzy that awaited them as they finally docked in New York. It's this last half of the book that makes it worth reading.
briandrewz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a superb installment in the story of the Titanic. Hugh Brewster has presented us with a marvelous telling of the stories of those passengers in first class who have become household names as a result of the tragedy. The lives of these people captivates and the author it to be commended for a job well-done. I especially enjoyed the section at the end of the book that told of the fates of those first class survivors.
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InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
This is certainly an informative book, however it ranks as a least favorite Titanic book of mine. The reason I don't want to give it more than 3 stars is because of the amount of private information it gives on the passengers of the ship. I love history, especially about the Titanic, but this book went overboard (pun intended!) or prying into those defenseless people's lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first part of the book spends too much time with too many characters it felt like skeet shooting not enough there to justify getting to the sinking most of which i already knew boring not reccomended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmmnbvcxzlkjhgfdsapoiuytrewq! ( titinac is NOT boring)!