How to Survive the Titanic

How to Survive the Titanic

3.47 (591 ratings by Goodreads)
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Award-winning historian Frances Wilson delivers a gripping new account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, looking at the collision and its aftermath through the prism of the demolished life and lost honor of the ship's owner, J. Bruce Ismay. In a unique work of history evocative of Joseph Conrad's classic novel Lord Jim, Wilson raises provocative moral questions about cowardice and heroism, memory and identity, survival and guilt--questions that revolve around Ismay's loss of honor and identity as his monolithic venture--a ship called "The Last Word in Luxury" and "The Unsinkable"--was swallowed by the sea and subsumed in infamy forever.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 33.02mm | 272.15g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062094556
  • 9780062094551
  • 1,267,767

Back cover copy

On April 14, 1912, as one thousand men prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the owner of the RMS Titanic, jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety. He survived the ship's sinking--but his life and reputation would never recover.

Examining Ismay through the lens of Joseph Conrad's prophetic novel Lord Jim--and using Ismay's letters to the beautiful Marion Thayer, a first-class passenger with whom he had fallen in love during the voyage--biographer Frances Wilson explores the shattered shipowner'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 his lost honor. For those who survived the Titanic, the world was never the same. But as Wilson superbly demonstrates, we all have our own Titanics, and we all need to find ways of surviving them.
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Review quote

The author demonstrates an impressive knowledge of that night to remember. --Kirkus"
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Rating details

591 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 19% (111)
4 29% (173)
3 36% (213)
2 13% (76)
1 3% (18)
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