Mistaken identity

Lily Peters

Member
Jun 18, 2005
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I've been pondering a thought recently that I would like to share with all of you. What if a person was mistaken for a different class simply because of the clothes they wore? Say a third class person was mistaken for one in second class or vice versa. If you were mistaken for someone of a different class status, how would you prove otherwise?

It's just a thought.

~Lily~
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
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Lily - there is one instance where I can think of something like this happening. Third class survivor Amy Stanley left the ship in a fur coat. As a result of this, according to Judith Geller, she was shown to a cabin on the Carpathia and given a bunk. But when it was discovered she was from steerage, she was banished to sleep rough with the rest of the third class survivors.

Otherwise, I think your word for it was taken. There are plenty of rich slobs, who White Star would probably not have wanted to risk offending.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>They would check? Or people 'report' them? Hahaha...<<

Apparantly, that's exactly what happened. In a class councious society where people were expected to "mind their place," this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
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In 1912, at the first glottal stop or dropped aitch the cover of an imposter as to 'class' would be blown and they would be packed off to the bilges without more ado.

English speakers, that is. Americans might well have got (gotten?) away with it...

Noel
 
Mar 28, 2002
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Did anyone take ordinary boy Alfred Nournay seriously when he upgraded from second class to become Baron von Drachstedt in first?

Cheers,

Boz
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Boz,

I think Nourney must have played the part well so he should have had no problem fitting in with 1st class. Besides he rather quickly befriended some other German 1st class passengers with whom he spent the days on board. He seemed to have spent much of his time with Greenfield and Blank.

Daniel.
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
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Echoing Daniel,
I believe he has come down as "the Baron" in survivor accounts, so I guess he pulled it off.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Hi, Noel!

I know it's the end of November, but I just read what you wrote back in January:

>>In 1912, at the first glottal stop or dropped aitch the cover of an imposter as to 'class' would be blown and they would be packed off to the bilges without more ado.<<

I'm reminded of the lyric from "My Fair Lady" (set in 1912) which, I believe, was a paraphrase on Bernard Shaw's own writings:

"An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him."

Roy