Reviewed by Mike Poirier
It is a testament to the authors, Janet White and Mary Ann Whitley, when I feel like I learned something after reading a Titanic book. There are a large number of efforts being published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the most famous shipwrecks. There are only a handful of standouts, while the rest will no doubt end up on the bargain books table. Ohio Tales of the Titanic, is definitely a standout. This specific book focuses on the Buckeye state connections to Titanic. The authors have been researching the subject together since the late 1990s after they met at a Titanic event.
Neatly arranged into the five different regions of Ohio, the reader will enjoy learning anecdotes about various passengers like Mary Davison who coaxed her husband Harry to book on Titanic and regretted it for the rest of her life. She saved a silk postcard of the ship, which is shown in the book. Ellen Wilkes who traveled third class while the rest of her clan was in second. Her life was long, but, in later years, she lived as a recluse with no heat or water. Natalie Wick was living in France with her new husband when her house was seized by troops and she escaped on a coal barge with author Somerset Maugham. Anthony Abbing a former Cincinnati resident had lived in South Africa as a blacksmith for many years and was returning home to take care of his mother. For many years, he was just a name on the passenger list, but due to the authors efforts, we learn about his family and see his memorial stone. It says, 'Died on the Titanic'.
New survivors accounts by Lucy Ridsdale, a retired nurse with a club foot, and Jessie Trout, a young widow, give readers new insight about the happenings aboard Titanic. Jessie went on deck, but remembered a bracelet and a back comb that she felt she must save and returned to her cabin. Amelie Icard, the former maid of Martha Stone was interviewed late-in-life by a French newspaper and talks about her fears of traveling on such a large ship. Manca Karun was photographed in the local paper for her visit to her brother in Ohio many years after the sinking. Most of these stories are supplemented with photos of the passengers and their graves; many of these previously not seen in books.
When I finished this book, I was amazed at the amount of research that was contained in these pages. And I know, people interested in the human side of the Titanic will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Available from Amazon.com
This new book relates the compelling stories of the Ohioans on board the Titanic. Among them werenew brides who left their husbands on the sinking ship, immigrants whose plans for a new life were torn apart and prominent business people returning from sojourns abroad. Ohio Tales of the Titanic also follows the survivors’ lives after the disaster, as some were stalked by other tragedies, and points out some fascinating modern connections to the most famous ship of all time. More...