Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(43)Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster


Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage

Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Pages: 352


I have already shared with you my geeky love for anything and everything Titanic.  With the 100th Anniversary of that night upon us, the new books about the Titanic are really stacking up for History lovers to read.

One of those books is Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster.  Brewster looks at the lives and death of the Titanic's first class passengers.  Those who survived and those who didn't.  He gives a little bit of background on each of the first class passengers and how they came to be on the Titanic.  Passengers such as Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Brown, John Jacob Astor and his wife, Madeleine. Lady Duff Gordon, and so many more.  We learn how they come to be on Titanic's maiden voyage and how they survived or perished that fateful day.  What I found most fascinating about this book was the exquisite pictures the author included in the book.  The crisp black and white photos are so full of detail and tell the story of their extravagant lives as much as the words he writes does.

I have read a lot of books about the Titanic, watched a lot of documentaries, and have seen the movies.  The one piece of information that I gathered from Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage, that was new to me, was about the dogs of the Titanic. Several dogs were on the Titanic when she set sail and even three survived that night, much to the anger of some other survivors.  Women, men, and children perished that night, yet three dogs survived.  The other thing that I found fascinating was at the end of the book, Brewster goes on to talk about an extraordinary number of survivors who lived to be over 100 years old and several into their 90's.   But there were also an extraordinarily high number of suicides among her survivors.

I really enjoyed Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage.  But I am a bit of a geek like that.  I could certainly see where the first half of the book would be considered a bit dry to those not as fascinated as I am by such things, but things pick up dramatically as the ship hits the iceberg and the tragedy is set into motion.   The author did such an excellent job at researching this book.  The passengers own words are often used to describe the Titanic and the events leading up to her demise.  It just brought it all to life for me, but that is what a book like this is meant to do.  Bring the events of April 14, 1912 to life.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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