How many trousseaus were lost in the Titanic

Feb 4, 2005
22
0
71
When I was growing up, the story was often told to me about the trousseau that my grandmother, Alice, bought in Europe for her upcoming marriage on 8 June, 1912. The trousseau of course went down with the ship. The story goes on to say that it was decided not to postpone the wedding date, and because the family was still in mourning for the loss of her father and her brother, Alice was married in a black dress.

It came as a bit of a shock to read in Alan Hustak's book and elsewhere that it was Ethel, the eldest daughter to make the Grand Tour, who postponed her wedding to go on the family trip to Europe, and buy her trousseau as well as being chaperone to her two younger sisters, Alice and Mabel. Alas, there was no mention anywhere of Alice buying a trousseau. It occurred to me at that time that Ethel's story could have been transmogrified and attributed to Alice, since I must admit that my family was rather vague on details like that.

After discovering the ET web-site, (and to demonstrate what a valuable tool it is), I was able to reassess the lost trousseau episode in a new light. To wit:

- we know that Ethel postponed her marriage to go on the trip. She married Crawford Gordon in 1913.
- we know that Alice was engaged to be married two months after the trip. She married Charles Allen in June 1912.
- we know that Mabel was taken along to cool her romance with Harrison Driscoll. She married him anyway in 1913.

Human nature and sibling rivalry being what it was then and ever shall be, I cannot imagine for an instant that, if Ethel was out shopping at Worth's in Paris for her trousseau, Alice would sit on her fanny and do nothing. And if Ethel and Alice were out shopping together, my bet is that Mabel would be right there with them, disapproval of Harrison Driscoll notwithstanding. Alan Hustak goes some distance toward corroborating my view in his book, where he writes that at a bon voyage party before boarding the ship, all three sisters appeared in their new primrose pink gowns from Worth and their fashionable pearl chokers.

So to address the question posed in the beginning, I contend that at least two, and perhaps three Fortune family trousseaus are down there.