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The Titanic and the City of Widows it left Behind (Hardback)

The Forgotten Victims of the Fatal Voyage

Maritime British History P&S History Women of History 19th Century

By Julie Cook
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 140
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526757166
Published: 11th March 2020


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When Titanic foundered in April 1912, the world’s focus was on the tragedy of the passengers who lost their lives. Ever since, in films, dramatisations, adaptations and books, the focus has mostly continued to be on the ones who died.

The Titanic and the City of Widows it Left Behind focuses on another group of people – the widows and children of the crew who perished on board.

Author Julie Cook’s great-grandfather was a stoker who died on Titanic. Her great-grandmother had to raise five children with no breadwinner.

This book focuses on Emily and the widows like her who had to fight for survival through great hardship, whilst still grieving for the men they loved who’d died on the ship. Using original archive sources and with accounts from descendants of crew who also lost their lives, the book asks how these women survived through abject poverty and grief – and why their voices have been silent for so long.

Well written, researched, it comes from the heart - there are parallels to what we're going through at the moment. This amazing feat of human enginerring and construction over which nature prevailed in the form of an iceberg. Once again a reminder that in the end natural forces will always be stronger.

Mark Dolan, Talk Radio presenter

I found this book interesting as it felt different from other Titanic books. I overall enjoyed this book and found it an interesting premise.

NetGalley, Kay McLeer

Julie Cook has provided a harrowing and emotional story of the Titanic’s impact on those left behind. A tragic history of the vulnerable but the brave, as well as a tribute to the enduring power of family. The story of the disaster’s widows uplifts and devastates in equal measure.

Gareth Russell, author of “The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era”

A really interesting read a look at the widows who were left behind after the tragedy of the Titanic.The widows who no longer had a wage earner supporting them a look at lute survivors who suffered whose lives would never be the same.

NetGalley, Abby Siverman

A look at her great-grandfather who was a worker that died and his widow along with the situations others would have went through back in England. Really nice look at the history and legacy of what happened.

NetGalley, Alexandra Roth

This non-fiction book talks about the widows that Titanic left behind. It's an interesting perspective and it's different from what we are used to when we talk about the Titanic. Usually we learn the stories of those who lived or those who died on the ship. The widows and children that were left behind were never mentioned enough. This book is about them and it's told in a part through the story of the author's great-grandmother.

The book also discusses the social and economic conditions back then and how they affected the already difficult lives of the widows.

NetGalley, Athina Semertzaki

I have always been aware of the Titanic disaster and in fact since a small child have been drip fed a tale of a lucky escape of a family member. It had never occurred to me that those families without closure will have suffered more than the loss of a loved one. It seems that widows of sea going lower and working class men and also those children who were dependent on fathers, brothers, sons or other male relatives suffered much more.
The detail and research is sound and informative. I am now looking to revisiting the SeaCity Museum of Southampton with different eyes.

NetGalley, Sue Harler

In light of human error the greatest of ships ever built has a place forever engraved in history.
Yet, it's precisely the incorrect history that forgets the 'classes' and the 'laborers' and those who were left widowed and or orphaned.
So many have focused on the powerful, wealthy, elite yet it's the other side that has not received much attention.
Those who shoveled coal into the bunkers with soot upon them were part of this group that were soon long forgotten. However, before we jump to conclusions we should seek to understand that perhaps it was more than an iceberg that took her down. Perhaps it was these bunkers that played a major role which wasn't mentioned here in this novel but has gained traction over the years of insightful journalism.
It's truly interesting to understand the times were quite sparse with many signing up for the voyage to make a few bucks.
Many left families deeply rooted in poverty with wives unable to secure employment and the funds available were very slim.
It's quite an eye opener that deserves our undivided attention but still many unanswered questions remain.

NetGalley, Donna Hines

As featured by

Bookseller 6/12/19

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been fascinated with the story of the Titanic and her passengers and workers over the years and read most of the books written on the subject however I will admit I have never sat down and thought about the effect it must have had on the people left behind in Southampton and so this book has been a revelation. The sad stories of these poor families left behind and the treatment they received from the White Star Line over the years. It’s so sad to see that even the women and children who managed to get help they were constantly monitored to ensure they lived a life befitting of the relief funds. This really is a very interesting and well researched read.

NetGalley, Lindsay Adams-Riley

About Julie Cook

Julie Cook has been a journalist for over 20 years. After working in-house on top magazines such as Take a Break she became freelance and now writes regularly for titles such as the Daily Mail, The Sun, Telegraph, Bella, Red online and many more. The Titanic and the City of Widows it Left Behind is a book she has wanted to write for many years because her great-grandfather was a crew member who perished on board, leaving behind a wife and five children. Julie lives with her husband and two children in Hampshire.

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