Goodwin Children

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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Is there any account as to the mannerisms of these children? Since there is not much record to speak of, if someone was to write a fiction novel that included them, would they have quite a bit of literary freedom?
 
May 27, 2007
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Not really. Walter Lord tried to give a kind of narrative portrait of the personalities of the Goodwins in TNLO which is the only record of their mannerisms that I know of. Maybe somebody else has seen an interview of a relative or something but as far as I know there is very little to go on about the mannerisms of the Goodwins.
 

Ben Lemmon

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So you would have quite a bit if literary freedom with this family if you wanted to use them in a story then?
 

Brian Ahern

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Different people might have different answers to that, Ben, but my answer would be yes. I don't know if the Goodwins have any living relatives who knew them personally AND would find out about your book AND would be hurt by your ascribing personality traits to the children that they may or may not have had. If the Goodwins had died only, say, forty years ago and would be likely to have aunts, uncles, cousins still alive, it might be a different story.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Well, mostly I want to honor them because their whole family was lost. Their personality traits will be humorous with the kids, the father would have a sense of humor. They would kind of have the traits that you would see the third class people have in the movie when Rose goes to the party.
 
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Received from and posted on behalf of Carol Goroff:

"Much has been written about the Goodwin Children -- almost all of it wrong. I am their first cousin once removed, and am writing a book about the family "The Goodwins Aboard Titanic". I have researched the family for over 10 years and have traveled to all of the places where the Goodwins lived. Please, if you want to write fiction, don't use real names."
Carol Goodwin Goroff

Ben I hope you respect Carol's request.
Lester
 

Ben Lemmon

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Gladly. There are other families that I might lend a good word to. Is there any information about the Sage family that I can know about? If necessary, I will not use their real names. Is there though?
 
May 27, 2007
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I myself have never heard of the Sage Family. Although today especially there is a general rise in the study of genealogy. I, myself would use a fictional family because later on you don't have cousins or second cousins saying you misrepresented their family. That would be a tough call for sure.
 

Ben Lemmon

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A-ha! I figured something out. I went to a baby naming website (weird, I know) and found out the meaning of every passenger's name that I want to use. I changed their name to something that had close to the same meaning. Instead of Anthony William Sage, his name is changed to Timothy Chadwick Wise. If you look up in a thesaurus, wise is a synonym for sage. And then you go to a baby-naming website, and you find names with similar meanings. I wanted to use Eric Rice, but was having a hard time figuring out a pseudonym for him. Since rice is a type of grain, I typed grain into an advanced search engine on the baby-naming website, and I came up with Garner, whose meaning entails something about grains. I also wanted to use Marshall Brines Drew, but I couldn't come up with a good last name, so I switched the middle and last names, and now Marshall Brines Drew is Stuart Andrew Brines. Cool, huh?
 
May 27, 2007
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Very Cool!
I have a Writer's Character Naming Source book and 3 baby naming books that I used for my daughter but that I had from my writing. Ben, you have found the old fiction writer's standby Baby Naming Books. I liked you using Stuart to replace Marshall as both were medieval job titles that evolved into surnames. Walker was another.
 

Ben Lemmon

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That's cool. I didn't even know I was doing that. I was just having fun trying to rename these characters as to not get into trouble with the relatives of some people. Hopefully, they don't run across this post . . . uh-oh ;)
 
May 27, 2007
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I think as long as you rename them you should be fine. Because the person goes from being a real person to a Fictitious Character. They shouldn't have a problem with you talking about it either I should think.

It's very common to rename a character who was a real person and to get Character names from baby name books or the Internet or phone books.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Hmmm . . . I never thought of the phone book. You could probably find some weird names in there. Technically, what I used was an Internet Baby book. Does that count
happy.gif
. Anyway, I am well underway on the second chapter. I think that you should write another book, or at least have the novel you wrote for your high school English class proofread and then sent to some literary magazine. What do you think?
 
May 27, 2007
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Does that count
I don't see why not.

I think that you should write another book, or at least have the novel you wrote for your high school English class proofread and then sent to some literary magazine
Maybe? I'd have to rewrite bits of it. I need to get the original draft which my mom has. Actually I was thinking of switching it to the Lusitania. Not many stories written about the Lusitania. I could explore that ship on so may levels and I could probably get the plans from some where to get a general Idea of how the ship was put together and where everything is at. The problem is I have a 2 year old and She takes up a lot of time plus my job. Someday though.
 

John Lynott

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Apr 2, 2002
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"They would kind of have the traits that you would see the third class people have in the movie when Rose goes to the party."

....and what traits would these be, Ben? Arm wrestling? Oirish dancing? I wouldn't use Cameron's depiction of Third Class as any basis for a novel. A look at the ET biography shows that the Goodwins had sold their home in London to travel to the US where a job in a power station awaited Mr Goodwin. Photographs of the family suggest a sober, God-fearing family typical of Britain's Edwardian upper working classes. I don't think they would have been crying King of da World or telling each other Irish folk tales in dodgy accents!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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John has it right. Actual accounts of 3rd Class travellers in that period suggest that there wasn't much demand for strong drink either. It was available but not cheap on board, and the typical 3rd Class passengers were hard-working, thrifty people who had their priorities right for conserving their savings. They wouldn't have made it that far otherwise. The 'steerage' scenes and characters (and the evening entertainments) in ANTR and SOS Titanic are more authentic.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Ok, when you put it that way, John . . .

That's not what I meant though. I was just trying to give the impression how nice *I thought* they were. But it doesn't really matter anymore, because I've changed my mind regarding them.
 

John Lynott

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Hi Ben, Bob, George, Lester and Brian...
...I think there is still scope for a book about the plight of the third class youngsters on the Titanic. The stories of the Coutts, Sages, Goodwins and Goldsmiths..and Frank's pal Alfie Rush who decided to 'stay with the men' as he had reached his 16th (I think) birthday) are among the most moving. It could be a sensitive novelisation or a non-fiction account - depending on the sources available. I just think that the film versions, including all holy ANTR, have put a false gloss on the third class (not steerage, totally different proposition) story. These people, as I have suggested in posts elsewhere, were not the poor huddled masses to be welcomed by the Statue of Liberty, but economic migrants and transatlantic passengers you can often find flying tourist class today. Their story deserves better. Anyway, it's time for tea...or dinner...or is it supper? (8pm UK time).
 

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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John,

I plan to incorporate the Sages and the Goldsmiths in a novel that I am writing. They won't be the main characters, but they will be close to the MC. Also, the names will be changed. The MC will actually go off looking for one of them. . .

By the way, what's the difference between steerage and 3rd class? Does that mean there were 4 classes? Or were steerage and 3rd class combined?