‘An astonishing work, of meticulous research, which allows us to know, in painful detail, the men and women on that fateful voyage. Even now, a hundred years later, Mr Davenport-Hines finds a new, and heart-breaking, story to tell.’ Julian Fellowes
‘Eloquent and absorbing… As well as being a fascinating work of social history, Titanic Lives is a remarkable study of empathy and its absence. As such it will stay afloat long after the armada of other Titanic books have gone down.’ Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph
‘Though it seems shameful to admit it, the one certain benefit we have derived from the tragedy is a shattering human story that is also, when told as well as Davenport-Hines tells it, utterly compelling.’ John Carey, Sunday Times
‘Fascinating social history’ Dominic Sandbrook
‘a substantial new account…This may well be, at last, the definitive Titanic book… Davenport-Hines relishes historical background and details, but he also has a good eye for riveting details…powerfully original. Davenport-Hines gives a brilliant account of the great global adventure of migration… This book is a considerable moral as well as historical achievement.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Brilliant social history’ The Spectator
‘Excellent’ Evening Standard
‘Moving, original and deeply researched’ The Guardian
‘Davenport-Hines’s immaculately researched history brings an extraordinary cavalcade of characters to vivid life’ Sunday Telegraph
Marking the centenary of the Titanic disaster, ‘Titanic Lives’ is an utterly compelling exploration of the lives of the passengers and crew on board the most famous ship in history.
The RMS Titanic was built as one of the world's largest and most luxurious liners. A marine Ritz, it was a 45,000-tonne hotel of thin steel plates, travelling at a speed of 21 knots across the North Atlantic.
On the night of 14 April 1912, midway through her maiden voyage, the seemingly unsinkable ship hit an iceberg, sustaining a 300-feet gash as six compartments were wrenched open to the sea. In little over two hours, the palatial Titanic nose-dived to the bottom of the ocean. Over 1,500 people perished in the freezing waters.
Who were the people who by a cruel twist of fate happened to be travelling on the ship? In this original and timely book, Richard Davenport-Hines views the great liner as a paradigm of Edwardian society. At the bottom of the ship was the steerage class, filled with emigrants hoping for a better life in the New World. Above them were hundreds of second-class passengers buoyed up by their prosperous respectability. On the upper decks were the hereditary rich and those of inconceivable wealth – Americans like John Jacob Astor IV, who was found with £2000 and $4000 in sodden notes in his pockets.
Bringing together over 2,000 passengers and crew from every class and every continent, ‘Titanic Lives’ tells their stories, re-creating the complexities, disparities and tensions of life one hundred years ago.