I'm afraid I haven't yet been back to Shropshire where the book containing that precise quotation is...the next time will probably be Christmas, I'm afraid. Can you bear to wait that long? Do feel free to poke me again, I know exactly where it is and can supply it without difficulty just as soon as I return to the country.
Well: I remembered to look up that quotation over the Christmas holidays and it is indeed more extensive than I originally thought. However, I had my doubts whether, due to copyright restrictions, I would be allowed to post it word-for-word here on ET - and now I'm back in London, whilst the book remains in Shropshire.
In the hope that it may be of assistance to you, though, the title in question is 'Darling Loosy: The Letters of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll 1856-1939', edited by the respected royal historian Elizabeth Longford, and published here in England by Weidenfeld and Nicolson back in 1991. The letters are arranged chronically so, if you can procure a copy from Amazon, it won't be at all difficult to find Prince Arthur's 'Titanic' letter to his sister.
If all else fails, and your interest remains, I can photocopy the page from my own book and post it to you at some point, if you'd like to send me your address in a private message.
Thank you very much for looking up that quote for me. I'll have a look for the book on Amazon, but if I don't find it, I will definitely take you up on your offer, as I'm very interested to see the letter.
Because news didn't travel as quickly at that time, would people have truly been aware of the magnitude of the disaster immediately after it happened? Wouldn't it have taken awhile to sink in (no pun intended)? There would be grief but I would think it would have been more private. Was the media as intrusive as they are now?
Actually, news travelled almost as fast as it does today, thanks to the world wide web of the telegraph. Within 24 hours, papers were carrying the story all over the world. They printed extra editions as new material came in.
We tend to underestimate the technology of the time. Telegraph messages were not sent by men hammering Morse keys, but by automated systems that sent code that was the predecessor to digital codes like ASCII. Newspapers were printed very quickly, using Lynotype machines. Anybody who could afford a cent for a paper could get information several times a day in the big cities. A New York resident was often better informed than a modern person who relies on the evening TV for news.
Of course, the accuracy of the information was another thing. Before Carpathia arrived in New York, a good deal of reporting was speculative, to put it kindly.