Titanic's most beautiful Women

Jan 28, 2003
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We only see the rich ones. Who knows how lovely the many feisty Irish Kates were - of whom there were quite a few on board? Walter Lord commented on this.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Yes - and Lawrence Beesley, in his account of the sinking, writes quite effusively about a totally gorgeous girl he spots on the 'Carpathia', who he assumes is an Irish steerage passenger. Wonder who she was?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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There is something slightly odd about Lawrence Beesley's account insofar as he mentions an Irish lady from Clonmel who had boarded at Queenstown and was travelling second class. However, the only second class lady in Beesley's boat (No.13) appears to have been Hilda Slayter who, as far as I can ascertain, had no connections with Ireland?

Regarding third the class Irish ladies, Beesley mentions not one, but two individuals, one of whom "an Irish girl with pretty auburn hair" was in boat 13, while the other - a girl of "really remarkable beauty", with "black hair and deep violet eyes" - was on the Carpathia.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hilda Slayter wasn't Irish, but prior to boarding the Titanic she had been living for some time at her sister's home in Clonmel. If Beesley hadn't been distracted by the colleens, he might have noticed that Hilda wasn't bad looking either. She looked in fact rather like Celine Dion, and could probably have given a better rendering of It's a Long Way to Tipperary.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Michael Wrote:

"The Fortune sisters were also attractive. The picture in Alan Hustak's book shows that Mabel retained her beauty even in middle age."

Agreed.

"Jane Hoyt was another, although she looks very snobbish."

I've only seen the one photo of her that was in all the papers where she's looking down. Are there others?

"Actually Brian mentions Virginia Clark. The LA newspapers ran photos of her, which were featured in Don Lynch's two part article and she was very pretty."

I need to finally get around to tracking that article down! She is one of the most intriguing passengers to me.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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If we are considering the Titanic's most beautiful women, it would surely be ungallant to ignore Violet Jessop - who was once told that she was too attractive to go to sea as a stewardess. It must have been easy for the first class women to don fine cloths and make themselves look beautiful, whereas crew members would have been expected to "dress down". (Violet Jessop certainly looked attractive in her WWI "VAD" nurses uniform!)
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Reverting back to this long-dormant thread...

Mary Marvin, who I named in one of my previous posts, seems to have 'gone off' in spectacular fashion in later life. I've seen a photograph of her, apparently dating from the late Twenties, in which she looks positively blowsy - not a trace of her former beauty left. Dorothy Gibson, too, seems to have shown two very distinct versions of herself to the camera. In some early pictures, she looks great. In others, her nose looks heavy, her eyes bulbous and her face quite fleshy. I've always found these features to be rather curious in a model and movie star!

On the other hand, Margaret Graham (who has not yet been mentioned) was extremely pretty and she had hordes of admirers; the photograph most often reproduced of her really doesn't do her justice. And Dorothy Harder was, it is generally agreed, absolutely stunning. The only snapshot I've seen of Leontine Aubart suggests a woman of some charm and vivacity...but it is difficult to tell for sure.

As Brian Ahern has already remarked, Lucile Carter (Snr) was singled out in her younger days as one of the most beautiful debutantes in her native city of Baltimore. She went on to be celebrated throughout her life for her elegance and chic. And her friend Marian Thayer seems to have been very pretty in a soft and feminine sort of way - her son Jack obviously inherited his patrician good looks from both of his parents, his father having been notably handsome in his Victorian youth.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Hello Martin!
Well, you're reviving a trip down memory lane, though I see I didn't have much to say in the first place save that we only saw the rich ones. Hard to be chic when you're an Irish emigrant in 3rd class, no matter how lovely.

I am quite intrigued about the difference between modern perceptions of beauty / attractiveness and those of 1912. We seem to prize symetrical and child-like women, which is a bit worrying. They seemed to prefer distinctly maternal ones - also a bit worrying. But I expect it was mostly homage to bucks and birth back then.

Incidentally, Martin, we all go off spectacularly in later life. It's called ageing. You can cheat it on the outside today if you have the money, but I still don't want to end up in the Old Folks Home plumped with Botox, primped by surgery, showing off my veneers, but ravaged by Alzheimers, and telling my aghast relatives that I've just entered for the London Marathon (Seniors section) if I could only remember what that actually meant.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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'I am quite intrigued about the difference between modern perceptions of beauty/attractiveness and those of 1912. We seem to prize symmetrical and child-like women, which is a bit worrying. They seemed to prefer distinctly maternal ones - also a bit worrying. But I expect it was mostly homage to bucks and birth back then'.

You might well be right, Monica. I've never really understood why Helen Churchill Candee, for all her intelligence and graciousness, unleashed such a storm of masculine adulation during the voyage. Her photographs - any of them - show her to have been no more than fairly handsome; certainly not the raving beauty one might imagine from written accounts.

Mary Marvin did indeed lose her bloom at an early age. But that wasn't true of all the Titanic's women. Lady Duff Gordon remained uncommonly attractive, well into her late forties and beyond.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Though I feel a bit biased toward her, as she is the most local survivor to my home and the main focus of my own Titanic research, I always found Eloise Hughes Smith to have been an attractive young lady. She had a very charming smile and generally pleasant look about her, IMO.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Brian’s right that standards of beauty change. We may not agree with what was thought of as beautiful in 1912 but the following women — that is the well known women who made the news and gossip columns — were considered among the "lookers" of the day:

1) Lucy Duff Gordon

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2) Eleanor Widener

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3) Marian Thayer

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4) Dorothy Gibson

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5) Noelle Rothes

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6) Helen Churchill Candee

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Note that only Dorothy Gibson and the Countess of Rothes are younger women, ages 22 and 33 respectively. The others are all over 40. The Edwardian period was a time when "maturity and savoir faire were prized in a woman," as one writer put it.
I suppose beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To be brutally honest, I would not have taken a second look at any of those women if they had tripped over me. I never liked that "haughtily confident" look.

The only adult female photograph that I found striking was that of - believe it or not - Charlotte Collyer - the one with her daughter and the White Star blanket on her lap. I like that "Earthy" look as I call it.
 

JACQLINE

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I think the rich/ upper class Titanic women revered for being beautiful were actually celebrated for "holding up" well in middle age, which isn't really a bad thing. Still, I was perplexed at the hoopla made over Helen Candee. Perhaps she looked much better in person, or her charms were more in her character than her face. All in all, the graininess of the photos we have to consider from this group in 1912 don't do man or woman proper justice. Why are they so bad? I have seen much better photographs of Queen Victoria in the 1870s... and it was clear she was no raving beauty. But I love how willing she was to distribute those pictures to her people and be completely unconcerned with looking "pretty." Other great women have followed suit.
 

Kas01

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I guess I was born a hundred years too late and a few million dollars too short, but I don't think I'd have minded running into Madeleine and her sister Katherine at a tennis court in Bar Harbor way back then.

Although I don't see nearly enough attention paid to Argene Del Carlo and Kate Gilnagh in this thread.