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Book of the Week: How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson

November 15, 2011

If you’re like me, your knowledge of the story of the Titanic probably begins and ends with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I always suspected there were many more Titanic stories out there, but I just couldn’t get Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On” out of my head long enough to look any further into it.

How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay tells perhaps the most compelling story of them all.  J. Bruce Ismay was the wealthy owner of the ship, who, as the ship sunk, jumped into a lifeboat full of women and children and paddled to safety. After the disaster, Ismay was vilified by the press and never spoke of his grand ship again. This well-researched and engaging book investigates the scandal that came after the disaster and explores J. Bruce Ismay’s epic fall from honor.

“Using never-before-seen letters written by Ismay to the beautiful Marion Thayer, a first-class passenger with whom he had fallen in love during the voyage, Frances Wilson explores Ismay’s desperate need to tell his story, to make sense of the horror of it all, and to find a way of living with the consciousness of lost honor.” (from the publisher’s description of the book)

Click through to listen to Roxanne Coady’s review of the book on The Faith Middleton show on NPR, starting at the 3:55 mark.
Faith Middleton’s Book Show, 11/11/11  Roxanne says, “I couldn’t put it down!”



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