Reading this non fiction book seemed very timely given my recent review of fiction book The Lifeboat by Rogan (post 4/18/12). Shadow of the Titanic is a fascinating story about what happened to all of the survivors from the Titanic. There were 705 survivors and very little has been written on what happened to these survivors. Andrew Wilson, the author, cites unpublished letters, diaries, and interviews with survivors’ family members to tell us about the many ways the Titanic “shadowed” the men, women and children who lived through that disaster. Some of the survivors were so racked with guilt they spend the rest of their lives under the “shadow of the Titanic”, thus the title. Yes, there were the rich and famous, but so many people from all walks of life were traumatized by the loss of the Titanic, a few even committed suicide.
Another aspect of the disaster was that with the shortage of lifeboats it was a given that women and children were suppose to be first in the lifeboats. It was an unwritten rule that men would go down with the ship, not just the captain and crew, but that a true gentleman would be guided by this rule. There were men whose reputations were destroyed because they did not go down with the ship. The public scrutiny of the survivors in the aftermath of this tragedy makes for a very interesting read and I recommend it.