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How to Survive the Titanic or the Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay

$29.95 GST

In April 1912, on its maiden voyage, the supposedly unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg and went down in the north Atlantic; of its 2,223 passengers, 1,500 perished.

On board was the chairman of the White Star Line, J Bruce Ismay, who got into a lifeboat, saving himself and leaving to drown some two-thirds of the passengers on the ship he owned and had helped to design. As half-filled lifeboats floated near the stricken leviathan, their passengers listened to the screams and groans of the dying, Ismay refused to turn and look at the sinking ship. His hair was said to have turned white overnight, and except for his reluctant testimony at subsequent inquiries, he hardly ever spoke of the disaster again.

He insisted that he had helped all the visible passengers into lifeboats, and only got into one himself when the decks were cleared, but the dishonour would hound him for the rest of his life. Conflicting accounts rapidly emerged, as survivors’ memories were inevitably shaped by trauma, terror, indignation, blame or self-exculpation. The public was left to decide whether Ismay was a rat deserting his sinking ship, or an ordinary man who simply chose not to die.

Frances Wilson explores the reasons behind Ismay’s jump, his desperate need to make sense of the horror of it all, and to find a way of living with lost honour.

Author : Frances Wilson
Paperback:  328 pages

SKU: P3991

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