Dear members of the forum, could you help me to know one thing. There're quite many fan fictions in the Net, saying that Harold Lowe and James Moody became not colleagues only, but friends. In the real life, was it true?
No, as Lowe's first trip on the Atlantic run was on the Titanic. Moody had already been sailing on the Oceanic since 1911. The Titanic was the first ship where they would have served together. Lowe was actually a stranger to the other officers, if I remember correctly.
This is based off of known information, of course. If someone knows something to the contrary, they will no doubt come in here and post it.
But I know about the fanfic that you mentioned. Most of it is actually really quite good in terms of storytelling. One in particular seems to have been written more as a way of getting Moody and Lowe mixed up with Hornblower and Kennedy from the A&E series...but it actually works out pretty well as a story, since they're working off Ioan Gruffudd's Lowe rather than the historical officer, so it's a literary invention that is rather permissible.
Kritina is correct - there is no evidence that James Moody and Harold Lowe developed a particularly close relationship in the time that they knew each other. Moody made one brief direct reference to Lowe in a letter, but it was simply to note that he (Moody) had been bumped back to sixth officer because Lowe had seniority. There is, I hasten to add, no rancour in the passage - he accepted it as a matter of course.
Lowe was briefly in touch with the Moody family after the disaster in response to an inquiry they made. The incident of his final encounter with Moody on the boat deck also seems to have been very much to the forefront of his mind after the disaster - it plays a fairly significant part in both inquiries and also in two of the affidavits he wrote.
I believe it would be more likely for Moody to have struck up a friendship with Boxhall - both young men were from Yorkshire, Boxhall had visited Scarborough and the Moody family had chose friends in Hull. They had also served an apprenticeship with the same line (although never met each other there to my knowledge), and were on the same watch. There are some very slight but tantalising glimpses that a friendship may have developed in the short weeks they knew each other, and even a hint that there was contact between Boxhall and the Moody family, but not enough to say anything definitive on the matter.
Folks have sent me a few of the fanfictions you're referring to, and most are quite amusing in their depictions of these two characters and their friendship, as well as in their depiction of the life of the mercantile marine of the era. However, the author of the story Kritina referred to above is someone I regard as an exception to the swags of turgid and wildly innacurate material on the net - she (and her sister) are extraordinarily talented young women. I've discussed her first fictional attempt at these two historical figures with her, and - in spite of some innacuracies (most of which she is already aware of), I find the story has a rather poignant edge to it.
Dear Kritina and Inger,
thanks a lot for your comments.
Speaking about fanfics, I meant the story named "Friendship, Courage and Coffee" - about Lowe and Moody and their friendship onboard - and I even cried with tears after reading it, really... I also think it's a really talented work.
By the way...
Today I've got registered on the Fanfiction.net site - in order to be able to read reviews for stories, especially for the mentioned one, "Friendship, Courage and Coffee". The last review made a week ago says that this story is "highly recommended" on the Encyclopedia Titanica site. No comments
Again, I want to notice that Steff (is that the author's name?) has a real talent, IMHO. Myself, I also tried to write fan fictions about the Titanic with Harold Lowe as one of the central heroes - in Russian, for my God-children. Maybe one day I will overcome my laziness and finish these stories, and then translate them into English
And good luck in your own writing, Ksenia. There's some marvelous scope for a fictional treatment of those lives. I've often thought that the diverse characters and life experiences of the men on the Titanic's bridge would make excellent material for a novel - as Fiona has suggested in the past, something along the lines of Beryl Bainbridge's recounting of the Scott expedition (Scott, Oates, Evans, Bowers and Wilson) in The Birthday Boys. There are some almost novelistic flashes in Moody's correspondence that would make a wonderful source for a novel. Lowe sometimes uses dramatic phrasing, bordering on melodramatic even, that seems to give a bit of a hint as to what sort of works he read (`the thought flashed through my mind, "perhaps the ship has not seen us in the semigloom."') Looking forward to reading what you write!