Her Name, Titanic


Arun Vajpey

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I own a very early hardcover edition of Charles Pellegrino's book Her Name, Titanic that I bought off the shelf in England back in 1989. I did not like the writing style and the half-a**ed poetic approach to the subject but some of the illustrations were informative. I would have given it away a long time ago but kept it because the book is special for a very odd reason. On the back cover, the review has a major error (most likely a printer error) which calls the Titanic a Cunard liner.

I have not seen that error in subsequent editions of the book not heard anyone else mention it here and so am guessing that the errant copies were quickly withdrawn. I still have mine and in near-mint condition. What I want to know is whether there re many such copies of the book in circulation or is mine almost a collector's item?

Unfortunately, that book is one of the very few Titanic related books that I left in the UK when I shipped my stuff to our more spacious flat in India. I am not going back to the UK till July 2021 and so till then cannot give publication details. But I know that it is one of those less common hardcover books that don't come with dust jackets and the cover illustrations are printed directly on the glossy cover. The spine is flat with longitudinal binding.

Does anyone else here own a copy of that book with the error on the back cover?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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I own a very early hardcover edition of Charles Pellegrino's book Her Name, Titanic that I bought off the shelf in England back in 1989. I did not like the writing style and the half-a**ed poetic approach to the subject but some of the illustrations were informative. I would have given it away a long time ago but kept it because the book is special for a very odd reason. On the back cover, the review has a major error (most likely a printer error) which calls the Titanic a Cunard liner.

I have not seen that error in subsequent editions of the book not heard anyone else mention it here and so am guessing that the errant copies were quickly withdrawn. I still have mine and in near-mint condition. What I want to know is whether there re many such copies of the book in circulation or is mine almost a collector's item?

Unfortunately, that book is one of the very few Titanic related books that I left in the UK when I shipped my stuff to our more spacious flat in India. I am not going back to the UK till July 2021 and so till then cannot give publication details. But I know that it is one of those less common hardcover books that don't come with dust jackets and the cover illustrations are printed directly on the glossy cover. The spine is flat with longitudinal binding.

Does anyone else here own a copy of that book with the error on the back cover?
I don't know if they are a collectors item but certainly a good conversation piece. I say that because I found them on Ebay. Either way worth holding onto it for that reason alone IMO.
s-l1600.jpg
 
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Arun Vajpey

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THERE! "Majestic Queen of the Cunard fleet" indeed! Meanwhile, I did my own searching on eBay UK since I remembered what the cover of my book looked like. My hardcover was published by T.H.E Crowhurst, which seems to be a subsidiary of Robert Hale & Co.

But since your book has it too, the error was probably more widespread than I thought. That means my book is not a collector's item. :(
 
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THERE! "Majestic Queen of the Cunard fleet" indeed! Meanwhile, I did my own searching on eBay UK since I remembered what the cover of my book looked like. My hardcover was published by T.H.E Crowhurst, which seems to be a subsidiary of Robert Hale & Co.

But since your book has it too, the error was probably more widespread than I thought. That means my book is not a collector's item. :(
Oh thats not my book. I grabbed that pic off the Ebay page that was advertising it. I don't have any of Pellegrino's books. I've only read excerpts from his books. I never bought any because of all the bru ha ha that people wrote about his books. It's why I have refrained from commenting on his stuff other than pointing out what others have said because you can't trash somebodies work if you haven't read it. But I did read some of the comments/reviews from other readers and they pretty much aligned with what you said. As for Ebay I recently canceled my account with them. They pissed me off so no yankee dollars from me anymore...:cool:
 
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Cam Houseman

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I need to get this book, then I'll have the whole trilogy.

I enjoyed his last two, Ghosts of the Titanic being my favorite

interesting Miss Candee went on the forecastle, never knew that. Oh, and the guy with the dented bowler hat
 

mark

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Didn't he say that Eva Hart was deported back to England. Because she could say something that could hurt White Star Line.?
 

Seumas

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Didn't he say that Eva Hart was deported back to England. Because she could say something that could hurt White Star Line.?
Eva Hart wasn't a very good witness (her stories got suspiciously longer and more detailed the older she got which raised eyebrows) but she was quite consistent that her mother couldn't face live in Canada without her husband and decided to return. I believe there is also a contemporary newspaper interview with her mother who basically confirmed this.

The Deans and the Browns were just the same. The "man of the family" was lost and they returned to England.

Emily Goldsmith (who lost her husband) on the other hand was determined to make a go of it in the USA with her son Frank and stayed.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Eva Hart wasn't a very good witness
She was 7 years and 3 months old on the Titanic and so some confusion is understandable.

I spoke to Eva Hart in the 1994 Titanic conference in Southampton. Although she did not mention it herself at the time, senior BTS member Brian Ticehurst told me that Eva recalled seeing some small icebergs (growlers) on Saturday night - very likely. When I met her, there were a few German Titanic enthusiasts as well. The one thing she recalled very well and talked about was seeing the lights of the Titanic burning brightly from her lifeboat - she even thought that they had got brighter at some stage. Eva and her mother were rescued on Lifeboat #14 that was lowered at around 01:25 am, which means that she had a lot of time for her young eyes to get acclimatized to the darkness. That would create an illusion that the lights had got a bit brighter.
 

Seumas

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She was 7 years and 3 months old on the Titanic and so some confusion is understandable.

I spoke to Eva Hart in the 1994 Titanic conference in Southampton. Although she did not mention it herself at the time, senior BTS member Brian Ticehurst told me that Eva recalled seeing some small icebergs (growlers) on Saturday night - very likely. When I met her, there were a few German Titanic enthusiasts as well. The one thing she recalled very well and talked about was seeing the lights of the Titanic burning brightly from her lifeboat - she even thought that they had got brighter at some stage. Eva and her mother were rescued on Lifeboat #14 that was lowered at around 01:25 am, which means that she had a lot of time for her young eyes to get acclimatized to the darkness. That would create an illusion that the lights had got a bit brighter.
I hate to tell you this but there is story of Don Lynch and George Behe's having an interview with her in the eighties and Ms Hart did not come out of it well at all.

Our duo prepared by reading or listening to previous interviews she had done. In the course of their interview they caught her several times claiming to remember things she had previously said she had no memory of. She then got a bit angry when they began pointing out the numerous self contradictions and inventions in her story. They cut things short and left.

Their conclusion was that she did not remember much and was just repeating things her mother had told her.

It's worth pointing out that Lynch and Behe are well known as two of the Titanic communities greatest gentlemen and had a great rapport with numerous survivors. They did not go out to antagonise Hart, they just did their job as historians of the disaster.

Eva Hart allegedly had a dislike of Edith Haisman (nee Brown), which is bizarre because everyone who met Mrs Haisman agreed that she was a truly lovely person.

Hart wasn't the worst at telling tall tales though ....

In his old age, Frank Prentice was the one who really took the biscuit when it came to that kind of thing.
 
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I hate to tell you this but there is story of Don Lynch and George Behe's having an interview with her in the eighties and Ms Hart did not come out of it well at all.

Our duo prepared by reading or listening to previous interviews she had done. In the course of their interview they caught her several times claiming to remember things she had previously said she had no memory of. She then got a bit angry when they began pointing out the numerous self contradictions and inventions in her story. They cut things short and left.

Their conclusion was that she did not remember much and was just repeating things her mother had told her.

It's worth pointing out that Lynch and Behe are well known as two of the Titanic communities greatest gentlemen and had a great rapport with numerous survivors. They did not go out to antagonise Hart, they just did their job as historians of the disaster.

Eva Hart allegedly had a dislike of Edith Haisman (nee Brown), which is bizarre because everyone who met Mrs Haisman agreed that she was a truly lovely person.

Hart wasn't the worst at telling tall tales though ....

In his old age, Frank Prentice was the one who really took the biscuit when it came to that kind of thing.
I can't speak to Eve Hart as I never really looked into what she said very much other than her appearances on documentaries. In those at least nothing she said seemed out of line to me. But as to Mr Prentice yes I agree with what you said. I watched an interview of him and I came to the same conclusion. A lot of stuff he was saying just didn't jive with what others reported who were there. I just took it as his memory was getting confused not that he was a grifter or something.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Our duo prepared by reading or listening to previous interviews she had done. In the course of their interview they caught her several times claiming to remember things she had previously said she had no memory of. She then got a bit angry when they began pointing out the numerous self contradictions and inventions in her story. They cut things short and left.

Their conclusion was that she did not remember much and was just repeating things her mother had told her.
I think your conjecture is correct. I feel she was trying to combine what her mother (a rather nervous near-paranoid woman) told her with her own disjointed memories.
In his old age, Frank Prentice was the one who really took the biscuit when it came to that kind of thing.
Hmmm....I've seen but not read about those Major Prentice interviews. Perhaps I should, in light of what you guys are saying.
 
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Seumas

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I think your conjecture is correct. I feel she was trying to combine what her mother (a rather nervous near-paranoid woman) told her with her own disjointed memories.

Hmmm....I've seen but not read about those Major Prentice interviews. Perhaps I should, in light of what you guys are saying.
Here is a run down of some of the peculiar things he said

  • Claimed that he was a pursers clerk instead of a mere storekeeper. The Particulars of Agreement say otherwise. Prentice said his friends on board were Michael Kieran and Cyril Ricks - both storekeepers.
  • At Cobh, he helped load aboard a large quantity of gold and silver bars aboard. This has been looked into many times by Titanic historians and nothing has ever turned up. In 2012 the Bank of England released it's archive material on the Titanic. There was nothing about any bullion.
  • Prentice claimed that he saw the first two lifeboats lowered incompetently which resulted in them spilling all their occupants into the sea to their deaths. This simply did not happen. Boats No 7 & No. 5 on the starboard side made it safely down and so did No. 6 and No. 8 on the port side.
  • That he was over four hours in the water. Nonsense. From reading the testimony of those aboard boat No. 4 who pulled Prentice from the sea, he was hauled in not long after the ship went down. He was probably only in the water about ten or fifteen minutes at most.
  • Here is the one I find really curious. Frank Prentice told two completely different stories about the death of his friend Cyril Ricks. In the first story he found Ricks lifeless in the water (they jumped from the poop deck) with a head wound that was bleeding heavily. In the second story, he claimed that after jumping he found Ricks conscious and talking in the water but that both of Ricks' legs had been broken in the fall, he couldn't move without pain and froze to death shortly after. One of these stories is true but which one ? I don't know. Why tell two different stories about how his friend met his end ? I find that quite strange.
 
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Mr. Titanic

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Arun, I mentioned in the other thread that authors do not write blurbs or design their own book covers. First editions of books can have errors that do make them collectible. Finding a hardcover copy of Her Name, Titanic in good condition is quite challenging, so I'd hang on to it for that reason if anything. It's a great book.
 
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Hello Arun. Just an interesting tidbit I ran across a minute ago looking up stuff. Seems not only your book had that problem but back in the day they got stuff wrong with the wrong owners too.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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  • At Cobh, he helped load aboard a large quantity of gold and silver bars aboard. This has been looked into many times by Titanic historians and nothing has ever turned up. In 2012 the Bank of England released it's archive material on the Titanic. There was nothing about any bullion.
  • Prentice claimed that he saw the first two lifeboats lowered incompetently which resulted in them spilling all their occupants into the sea to their deaths. This simply did not happen. Boats No 7 & No. 5 on the starboard side made it safely down and so did No. 6 and No. 8 on the port side.
  • That he was over four hours in the water. Nonsense. From reading the testimony of those aboard boat No. 4 who pulled Prentice from the sea, he was hauled in not long after the ship went down. He was probably only in the water about ten or fifteen minutes at most.
Thanks Seumas. It is decent of you to try to be polite is dismissing those ridiculous statements. I can only think that the good old major's brain must have been more than slightly scrambled when he made those statements. Gold bullion? Overturned lifeboats spilling people into the sea? Was he thinking of the Lusitania on which he was not even on board?
 

Seumas

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Thanks Seumas. It is decent of you to try to be polite is dismissing those ridiculous statements. I can only think that the good old major's brain must have been more than slightly scrambled when he made those statements. Gold bullion? Overturned lifeboats spilling people into the sea? Was he thinking of the Lusitania on which he was not even on board?
Lord knows what he was upto. The only thing I can think of was that maybe he wanted to give them a more exciting story or something like that. If his deposition ever turns up then we'll know what he really saw.

Prentice's post-Titanic career is quite an interesting one.

He left the sea to join the British Army in WW1 where he was commissioned from the ranks and was decorated for leading a tank attack on foot. So we have an undoubtedly brave man capable of leadership.

After the war he returned to work on White Star ships as a steward's storekeeper. He leaves the sea again at some point in either the twenties or the thirties as by 1939 he is listed in the I.D card register of England & Wales as being a car salesman in Bournemouth.

As I say the part of his story I find so perplexing is why he told two very accounts of how Cyril Ricks met his end. Strange.

In TV interviews recorded just before he died, one can see that death of Ricks (who clearly had been a close friend) was still a painful memory for Prentice and he was trying hard to hold back the tears.

I wonder if perhaps he felt a kind of guilt about leaving Ricks behind when he realised there was nothing he (Prentice) could do to help him and time was running out to save his own life ?
 

Arun Vajpey

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He left the sea to join the British Army in WW1 where he was commissioned from the ranks and was decorated for leading a tank attack on foot. So we have an undoubtedly brave man capable of leadership.
Agreed, but courage and honesty and two completely different virtues and do not always go hand-in-hand. Charles Lightoller proved himself brave with his actions during the Dunkirk evacuations in 1940 but that does not change the fact that he made several ambiguous statements and told at least a few lies during the Titanic post-disaster inquiries. He might have had reasons for covering up certain things but fact remains that he did so.
 
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