Rembember the Lusitania! by Diana Preston

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Three years after the tragic sinking of the Titanic, another luxury liner went to a watery grave beneath the icy depths of the North Atlantic. The sinking of the Lusitania, torpedoed by a German U-boat in a sneak attack off the coast of Ireland, was one of the most pivotal and universally condemned acts of World War I.

Diana Preston chronicles the shipboard experiences of three children who were on that fateful voyage. Eleven-year-old Frank Hook, a third-class passenger, was moving to England with his father and older sister. Twelve-year-old Avis Dolphin, a second-class passenger, was being sent to an English boarding school with a chaperone. And five-month-old Audrey Pearl was traveling in luxurious first class with her parents, three siblings, and two nannies.

From different walks of life and varied circumstances, these three children shared a common bond-they all survived one of the most disastrous shipwrecks in history. Their stories, taken from firsthand accounts, personal interviews, and historical documents, provide a riveting look at one of the most tragic and significant events of World War I.

About Diana Preston

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Born and raised in London, Diana Preston studied Modern History at Oxford University, where she first became involved in journalism. After earning her degree, she became a freelance writer of feature and travel articles for national UK newspapers and magazines and has subsequently reviewed books for a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times. She has also been a broadcaster for the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and has been featured in various television documentaries.Eight years ago, her decision to write "popular" history led her to The Road to Culloden Moor: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45 Rebellion (Constable UK, 1995). It was followed by A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole (Houghton Mifflin, 1998), The Boxer Rebellion (Walker & Company, 2000), and now, Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy (Walker & Company, 2002). In choosing her topics, Preston looks for stories and events which are both compelling in their own right and also help readers gain a wider understanding of the past. She is fascinated by the human experience-what motivates people to think and act as they doÐand the individual stories that comprise the larger historical picture. Preston spent over two years researching Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy. She did a remarkable amount of original research for the book, and is the first author to make full use of the German archives and newly discovered papers that illuminate both the human tragedy and subsequent plots to cover up what really happened. Preston traveled to all the key locations of the tragedy, experiencing firsthand how cold the water off the Irish coast near Cobh would have been in early May when the Lusitania sank, and how eerie it was to stand inside what remains of the U-20 (now at the Strandingsmuseum in West Jutland, Denmark) where the U-boat captain watched the Lusitania through his periscope and gave the order to fire. Of the many artifacts she reviewed, it was her extensive reading of the diaries and memoirs of survivors that had the biggest impact on her. The experience of looking at photographs and touching the scraps of clothing of both survivors and those who died when the Lusitania sank provided her with chilling pictures: The heartbreaking image of a young girl whose sister's hand slipped away from her was one that kept Preston up at night. When not writing, Preston is an avid traveler with her husband, Michael. Together, they have sojourned throughout India, Asia, Africa, and Antarctica, and have climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and Mount Roraima in Venezuela. Their adventures have also included gorilla-tracking in Zaire and camping their way across the Namibian desert. Diana and Michael Preston are currently working on a biography of the 17th-century British explorer, naturalist, scientist, pirate and buccaneer William Dampier, which is forthcoming from Walker & Company. They live in London, England.
Published May 1, 2003 by Walker Books for Young Readers. 102 pages
Genres: History, War, Children's Books.

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Drawing on the research from her Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy, aimed at adults, Diana Preston charts the ship's course for a younger audience in Remember the Lusitania! Here she focuses on the storie

May 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Rembember the Lusitania!

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