Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic’s First-Class Passengers and Their World by Hugh Brewster (pub date 3/27/12)
We’re only weeks away from the centennial of the Titanic disaster, and publishers are quickly coming out with new titles on the subject while they still can. And while there are numerous fiction and nonfiction books on the market telling the same story over and over again, here is a book that tries to do it a little differently. Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage focuses on the perspective of the passengers rather than the ship. The book gives extremely detailed accounts of the lives of Titanic’s most famous passengers. It looks at them as real people, rather than just a group of individuals aboard the same ship.
Through painstaking research and a lively writing style, Hugh Brewster recalls the life stories of John Jacob Astor, Margaret Brown, Lucile Duff Gordon, Frank Millet, and many others. The book gives their personal histories, their romances, their triumphs, and their scandalous secrets. Rare photographs and hundreds of quotations help breathe life into these biographies.
While other Titanic books focus mostly on the ship, with the passengers as an accessory to its story, in this book the passengers are the story. The book really gives readers insight and perspective regarding society and culture in the early twentieth century. If you’re looking for a factually accurate yet well-written account of the Titanic disaster, definitely check this book out. It’s a chilling reminder of just how compelling the tragedy is, even after a hundred years.