Goodwin Children

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Ben, here's a copy of a post I first made several years ago which will hopefully answer your question:

In 1912 there were actually 5 levels of travel on ocean liners, and ticket prices varied accordingly. 3rd Class on the Titanic was two steps up from the base level of 'old' steerage which, together with 'new' steerage, could still be found especially on ships operating from Asia and southern Europe. With '3rd class' White Star sought to offer many of the amenities associated with 2nd Class, rather than the small improvements on traditional steerage which were increasingly demanded on health and safety grounds by legislation in Britain and the US.

Passengers at this level were made up of a mix of working class and lower middle class. As a group, they were not representative of a wave of mass emigration driven by a need to escape lives of grinding poverty. Among their numbers were many adventurous and ambitious young people, families who had sold small businesses in the hope of doing even better in the new world, and successful emigrants returning from holiday trips 'back home' - the true forerunners of 'tourist class'. Some of the first-time emigrants were travelling with borrowed money (generally supplied by friends or family already in the US or Canada), but by and large the truly poverty stricken didn't travel 3rd class on the Titanic - it was beyond their means.
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May 27, 2007
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Howdy to you John.
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The book you talked about sounds interesting.

Ben-

I always thought Steerage was another name for third Class? I bet some of the Passengers on Titanic thought the same.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Some of the German liners of the time offered 3rd Class and Steerage. That's the most convincing argument that they were not the same. It was basically a difference in quality of accommodation and service. But certainly the passengers in 1st Class probably didn't make the distinction. Neither did the American immigration authorities, for whom 3rd Class passengers were still listed as Steerage and shunted off to Ellis Island on arrival. Only the traditional 'Saloon Classes' (1st and 2nd) escaped that.
 
May 27, 2007
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Neither did the American immigration authorities, for whom 3rd Class passengers were still listed as Steerage and shunted off to Ellis Island on arrival.
That makes sense. To us Americans the word Third Class is just a polite way of saying Steerage I guess. Actually to me making a higher class just seems like a way of ripping off the immigrants and making them pay more. It didn't matter to the custom officials if you had come from Third or Steerage Class. You were just more paper work and it probably had no effect on the immigrant's desirability as a potential Citizen to the custom officials at Ellis Island.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Equally you could say that the word 'steerage' became increasingly an insulting way of saying 3rd Class. And no, the introduction of 3rd Class (and later Tourist Class) wasn't a means of ripping anybody off. Rather a recognition of the fact that there was a growing demand from travelers (and from legislators) for something better than the appalling conditions typical of traditional steerage.
 
May 27, 2007
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True I enough. I wouldn't want to enter the U.S.A in Steerage like my Swedish ancestors had to but at least it was cheap so they had money when they got here. Of course they came in through Boston.

and later Tourist Class.
Although I never said that Tourist Class was a means of ripping Immigrants off.
 
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Holly Peterson

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I started to write a novel with the Goodwin family as main characters because I, too, wanted to honor them, seeing as researching them helped me get interested in the Titanic in the first place. In my story, Frederick and Augusta are jolly and care for their family well, with bright hopes about the New World, Lillian is patient, responsible and practical, often looking out for the younger ones, Charles is serious and mature, William follows in his older brother's footsteps but has a mischevious streak, Harold is bright, troublesome and fun-loving, Jessie is sweet, friendly and innocent, while Sidney is just cute. Their death has a huge impact on the story's main character, a fictional Irish 11-year old named Brigitte. I'm taking a break from that story but I'll probably get back to it soon.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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Hey Alzbeta,

That's cool that you are writing a novel on the Goodwin family. You know what? You and I have a lot in common. I'm not trying to hit on you, but I am also interested in what happened to the youngest of the Titanic's victims. I am working on a story about an 8 year old boy and his surrogate family sailing on the Titanic. There are parts that I'd rather not reveal, but the title itself is Titanic, An Unforgettable Voyage. There's a reason why it's named as such, but that's one of the secrets I would rather not divulge. Anyway, I have completed about 32 pages of it, although it's going on 33. Hopefully, since Spring Break is next week, I will be able to work on the little fallacies that I have been seeing in my own writing. It's true what they say, "I am my own worst critic."
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Hope to hear from you soon!
 
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Holly Peterson

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Nice to hear from you, Ben! I hope we'll be able to communicate a lot through these message boards! You do seem very similar to me in that we both are interested in the Titanic's children. My story was called "Third Class Voyage" and I wasn't getting it published or anything; it's just for fun. It involved fictional Brigitte Kingfisher, an 11-year old Irish girl, and her large family, travelling from Ireland to Canada. Along the way, she is faced with prejudice from the upper classes and longs for freedom in the new world. She meets the Goodwins and becomes great friends with Jessie. On the night of the sinking, the family's father becomes separated from them and Brigitte is barred from joining her family in an overcrowded lifeboat, but miraculously the whole family is saved, her father being rescued on Collapsible B. Brigitte is devastated over the loss of the Goodwins, but eventually realizes they are in a better place.
 

Ben Lemmon

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How long is your story? If it's not too long, you could try and get it published in a literary magazine. If it was around novel length, I'd look into getting it published. I know you said that it was just for fun, but why can't your projects bring in a little bit of income?

When I was in 6th grade, I wrote another Titanic story called John: the Story of a Boy on the Titanic. It was a very short piece, as it was for the Young Author's Contest. Anyway, what happened was John traveled second class on the Titanic with his mother and father. He meets a girl named Becky from first class and they become fast friends. The night of the sinking, John notices that Becky's parents forgot her (strains your belief, I know). While John's parents get on a lifeboat with Becky's parents, John goes off in search for Becky. He finds her, and they are on the Titanic as it is going down. They climb on a funnel, which eventually breaks, and the funnel falls into the water. These two kids cry out to a lifeboat, which returns and picks them up.

There is no conceivable way that a lot of this story would happen. For one, who would leave their child on board a sinking ship. Two, I stated that there was a dance at the Grand Staircase. Didn't ever happen. Three, by using Cameron's idea of no class barriers, I added to the already plentiful fallacies incorporated in the book. Oh and yes, I was in 6th grade after Cameron's Titanic. Three years afterwards, as a matter of fact.
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May 27, 2007
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When I wrote my High School short story in '92 I really didn't have my character interact with other passengers. I had her watching what they were doing and such but mostly I had her worrying about her own story and what she was going to do when she got to America. She had an interest in silent film so I studied up on that a bit and also about the Ship's layout. I had a kids book called Inside The Titanic? which had illustrations by Ken Marshall which was really informative about the Ship's layout. I think the text part of the book was written by Wyn Craig? It had beautiful cut aways of the ship in full detail sketches of the layout by Marshall. If you can find a copy I recommend it for all aspiring authors. It really helped me on the ship's layout but there really wasn't much about the ship's passengers back then that I could find. Walter Lord's ANTR and TNLO were a lot of help though.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Again George, you should revise it and send it to a literary magazine. Then when you have the time later, you could transform it into a novel on the Lusitania. Or the General Slocum. You could do that one too. What ever suits your fancy.
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Holly Peterson

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Thanks, Ben, but I don't think I'll be publishing my story. I'm only on about Chapter Five and already it's nearly 100 pages. My stories get really long-winded and packed with way too much description. But I don't care! It's fun enough just writing them.