Shadow of the Titanic by Andrew Wilson
The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

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Synopsis

IN the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the icy waters of the North Atlantic reverberated with the desperate screams of more than 1,500 men, women, and children—passengers of the once majestic liner Titanic. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, an even more awful silence settled over the sea. The sights and sounds of that night would haunt each of the vessel’s 705 survivors for the rest of their days.

Although we think we know the story of Titanic—the famously luxurious and supposedly unsinkable ship that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America—very little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did they cope in the aftermath of this horrific event? How did they come to remember that night, a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town?

Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished letters, memoirs, and diaries as well as interviews with survivors’ family members, award-winning journalist and author Andrew Wilson reveals how some used their experience to propel themselves on to fame, while others were so racked with guilt they spent the rest of their lives under the Titanic’s shadow. Some reputations were destroyed, and some survivors were so psychologically damaged that they took their own lives in the years that followed.

Andrew Wilson brings to life the colorful voices of many of those who lived to tell the tale, from famous survivors like Madeleine Astor (who became a bride, a widow, an heiress, and a mother all within a year), Lady Duff Gordon, and White Star Line chairman J. Bruce Ismay, to lesser known second- and third-class passengers such as the Navratil brothers—who were traveling under assumed names because they were being abducted by their father.

Today, one hundred years after that fateful voyage, Shadow of the Titanic adds an important new dimension to our understanding of this enduringly fascinating story.
 

About Andrew Wilson

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Andrew Wilson is the author of Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith; Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex; and the novel The Lying Tongue. He has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and the Daily Mail. He lives in London.
 
Published March 6, 2012 by Atria Books. 418 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Professional & Technical, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shadow of the Titanic

Kirkus Reviews

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Ismay’s controversial story, told more fully in Frances Wilson’s How to Survive the Titanic (2011), sits in the middle of the text, surrounded by those who, for the most part, survived in more conventional, socially acceptable ways: They were women, children, necessary crew members—or just plain ...

Jan 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Kirkus Reviews

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A biographer joins others writers swimming in the centennial vortex of the Titanic, which sank on Apr. 14, 1912.

Feb 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Book Reporter

Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived Featured Review About the Author Biography Bibliograp...

Mar 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Book Reporter

Those 705 suriviors who secured a spot in a lifeboat or who jumped off the ship as it was slipping down into the ocean --- and were later rescued by a lifeboat --- were witnesses to the horror of the screams of the dying and the sight of the great ship disappearing beneath the water.

Mar 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

The Bookbag

Wilson splits his book up - in slightly uneven, patchy ways - into specific biographies, and more general summaries of the people on board.

Nov 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Look At OKC

When 1,500 lost their lives a century ago as the “unsinkable” Titanic slid into the icy North Atlantic, the story was far from over.

Jun 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Historical Novel Society

In the wealth of books published for the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, most center on the tragedy itself and its immediate aftermath.

| Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

We Love This Book

From the ship owner who came to regret that he had not, as society so clearly expected, gone down with his ship, to the silent screen actress who starred in a film of herself as a survivor wearing the same dress she wore that night, Wilson tells the stories of many of those who lived to tell the ...

Mar 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

Library Journal

Below, LJ reviewer Megan Hahn Fraser interviews British author Andrew Wilson (@andrewwilsonaw), whose book Shadow of the Titanic earned a starred review (a captivating read that begins where most other Titanic books end).

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

DNA

In today’s parlance, Wilson explains, the after effects would be treated as post-traumatic stress disorder and there would be a slew of psychiatrists and experts to help the survivors.

Jul 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

The American Book Center Blog

In Shadow of the Titanic, Andrew Wilson skilfully extends our engagement with one of the most closely documented incidents in history, and demonstrates how the survivors of the incident really did live their lives afterward always in the darkness of the disaster.

Nov 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Shadow of the Titanic: The Ex...

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