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?-
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.
“Brewster’s nuanced account introduces us to a plutocracy frolicking in the sunset of England’s Edwardian era and America’s Gilded Age. He pushes past stereotypes to vividly describe the elite realm on deck”
—New York Times Book Review
“You needn’t be an avid Titanic scholar or enthusiast to find this story spellbinding. No fiction author could ever concoct a tale of greater tragedy, irony, pathos, ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys,’ heroism, cowardice, wealth and poverty.”
—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
“[A] brilliant account of the first-class passengers who went down with the ship, giving us a glimpse into a Gilded Age about to disappear forever….Brewster's method is simple and highly entertaining.”
"Classy…delicious, wonderfully readable”
—Christian Science Monitor
“A lively tour through the lives of a handful of noteworthy first-class passengers”
– San Antonio Express-News
“This is one of those rare books on the subject that provides information both new and relevant, in a scholarly but readable way. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the social history of the early 20th century.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“[A]n impressive amount of information, often directly pulling from firsthand accounts. The author vividly renders the collision, the sinking, the chilling wail of unseen swimmers calling from the cold water and the shipwreck's aftermath....a welcome, interesting addition to Titanic-related literature.”
“Full of delicious details, from champagne flutes to the careless luxe of furs and satin, this is a spell-binding story, fresh, original and totally absorbing.”
—Marian Fowler, author of In a Gilded Cage
“Focuses on an area of the disaster that has long been overlooked ––that of the prominent people who were involved....a compelling account of who they were and how this select group of names came together in one enormous tragedy.”
—Don Lynch, author of Titanic: An Illustrated History and Ghosts of the Abyss
“A fascinating and engaging account of the Titanic disaster....a definite "must-read" for the centenary of the Titanic disaster, and I feel certain it will quickly be regarded as a standard work on the subject.”
—George Behe, author of On Board RMS Titanic and The Carpathia and the Titanic