New book about Alice Cleaver

Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Has anyone managed to get hold of a new book called From Workhouse to Prison to the Titanic by Dinah Burnett?

This book promises to put right some of the myths which have developed around Trevor Allison's infamous nurse. Interestingly it is apparently written by one of her daughters.

The family have shied away from attention in the past so it should make for interesting reading.

Perhaps someone who has read it could post a review here.

There was a copy on ebay for sale the other day, but I am uncertain if in is still there, probably not since it is a popular book.

Finally got it through the post this morining, I haven't had a good chance to go through it properly yet but here are my first impressions.

It is an amazing book, it goes on for 130 pages and tells you less about Alice Catherine Cleaver than can be found on ET. It basically goes on ad nauseum refuting the allegations of Child Murder etc. made by Don Lynch while failing to tell us anything about Alice Cleaver herself.

Incredibly it provides no new phtograph of her and does not even use her full name as it appears on this website, referring instead to "Nurse Cleaver".

The book has evidently been privately published and Dinah Burnett is no doubt a pseudonym - very popular these days it seems. Maybe I should try and get it signed!

If anyone else has managed to get hold of this book I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it.

Hi, Phil!

For what it's worth, Miss Cleaver's granddaughter has no idea who wrote the book.

All my best,

Hi George,

I got a rather abrupt email from someone with the same surname as one of Alice Cleaver's actual daughters, who initially alerted me to the book.

The book is an interesting read in that it covers the actual murder story although I would read it all with caution as the author has a major axe to grind.

Phil & George,

I thought the book both interesting and seriously strange. Yes, it does seem like a lot of text to end up with less knowledge of the *real* Alice Cleaver than before. And the author does indeed have a major axe to grind, throwing doubts on 'her' objectivity as much as she throws stones at Don Lynch.

However, her research would seem to resolve the mystery of Alice Cleaver, Child Murderer v Alice Cleaver, Competent Nanny. 'She' makes excellent, telling points about the assumption of guilt, inconsistencies in interpreting the outcomes of the British legal system of the time and incomplete research. Then there is 'her' deconstruction of Alice Cleaver's generally accepted role on Titanic that night.

George, you wrote that Alice Cleaver's grand daughter had no idea who wrote the book. Any ideas?

I believe that Nurse Cleaver is innocent as charged, but it's a shame that the author couldn't manage more objectivity. The writing, the argument and ultimately the book's contribution to Titanic fact and lore would be stronger for it.

Cheers, Fiona
Fiona wrote:

>George, you wrote that Alice Cleaver's grand >daughter had no idea who
>wrote the book. Any ideas?

Hi, Fi!

I'm told that a certain Cleaver family member is thought to be responsible for the book, but I don't know if the uncertainty about the author has been cleared up yet.

Fi, would you say the book is worth buying or is it just a rant against Don? I'd welcome new information about the 'real' Miss Cleaver, but I'd prefer to spend my money elsewhere if the book falls down in that regard.

All my best,