Last week, I read Titanic: The Edith Brown Story by David Haisman, her son. It's a short book, but it's packed with a son's love for his mother and a very powerful yet not often told tale. In the process of writing his book, he and his siblings combined their recollections of what Edith said and what they remember about her.
In addition, David Haisman who was a sailor and lookout on some of the great liners back in the day lent his knowledge and expertise about how ships are run and ought to be run to the story. We all know the story and different images like the Strauses refusing to leave each other, the band playing on, Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet going down like gentlemen, etc. get told so much that it dulls our senses to how incredible their stories were and how these things actually did happen. This book made the Titanic and her passengers come to life to me. We get to view the Titanic from the perspective of a 2nd class passenger. Something which doesn't happen very often since that class is often ignored or only given minimal mention in books and films.
David writes it well enough to where you get a sense of what it was like during the voyage and sinking. You also get to see who they actually were as people in their private lives instead of the romanticized stories in many other books and films. It is also interesting to read about something rarely touched on and that is how the survivors coped after losing their breadwinners and the anchors of their homes and families. You can really feel for Edith and her mother Elizabeth as they faced this new world without Edith's father Thomas and sympathize with them as they tried to make sense of the world without him.
The book also gives you a rare look at how the survivors did years after the disaster and will hold your attention as David gives you the stories about how they endured and suffered through WWII and the Luftwaffe bombings of Southampton along with sailing through U-Boat infested waters and through personal tragedies throughout her life. It's a wonderful tribute from a son to his mother and it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn more about what it was like to be a survivor. If anyone is looking for a woman in history that you can follow as a good example of how to live your life and meet new challenges, Edith Brown Haisman is a very good one.
Here are some places where you can buy Titanic: The Edith Brown Story: