Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving by Elizabeth Kaye

By Elizabeth Kaye

Whilst the sizeable begun sinking, who could make it off alive? the 2 cousins who have been so wanting to see their first iceberg? The maid who desperately attempted to flee with the child in her care? The younger newlyweds who’d booked passage regardless of warnings to not?

One hundred years after that disastrous and emblematic voyage, Elizabeth Kaye unearths the extreme, little-known tale at the back of one of many first lifeboats to go away the doomed send.

Told in genuine time and within the real voices of survivors, Kaye’s poignant, pulse-pounding narrative comprises the tale of the Countess of Rothes, the wealthiest girl at the send, certain for California, the place she and her husband deliberate to begin an orange farm. It used to be the Countess, wearing ermine and pearls, who took command of Lifeboat No. eight, rowing for hours throughout the black and icy water. within the phrases of 1 of the Titanic’s staff, she was once “more of a guy than any we now have on board.”

At the center of Kaye’s story is a budding romance among the Countess’s maid, Roberta Maioni, and the Titanic’s valiant instant operator, Jack Phillips. whereas Roberta made it competently onto Lifeboat No. eight, protecting not anything yet a photograph of Jack she had run again to her cabin to retrieve, he remained at the send, the place he might ship out the world’s first SOS sign. yet wouldn't it be acquired in time to save lots of his life?

Surviving that fateful evening within the North Atlantic used to be now not the top of the saga for these aboard Lifeboat No eight. Kaye finds what occurred to every passenger and workforce member and the way the mythical maritime catastrophe haunted them forever.

A century later, we’re nonetheless captivated by way of the giant and its passengers. With its skillful use of survivors’ letters, diaries, and stories, “Lifeboat No. eight” provides a dramatic new bankruptcy to the continued story.


A longtime contributor to “Esquire,” “Rolling Stone,” and “The manhattan Times,” Elizabeth Kaye is the writer of “Mid-Life: Notes from the midway Mark” and “Ain’t No the next day: Kobe, Shaq, and the Making of a Lakers Dynasty,” in addition to the Byliner unique “Sleeping with recognized Men.”

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In any case, by then he would have known that it was far too late for his efforts to prove anything but futile. , Captain Smith appeared in the shack again. “Men, you have done your full duty,” he told them. “You can do no more. Abandon your cabin. ” If Jack heard the Captain, he gave no sign. His bruised, reddened fingers still tapped out CQD … SOS … CQD … “You look out for yourselves,” Captain Smith said, more forcefully. ” But Jack would not stop. ” He was so engrossed that he did not notice the water seeping across the floor.

Isidor Straus came up to the Boat Deck warmly dressed: she in a fur coat, he in a fur-lined overcoat in which he carried a silver flask and a silver bottle containing smelling salts. They had been married for thirty-one years, during which time Mr. Straus and his brother had bought Macy’s department store and turned it into a retail phenomenon. Isidor Straus was the third-richest man on board, his wealth surpassed only by that of John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim. Mr. 8 for women. Throughout their married life, they had been inseparable.

After a moment’s hesitation, she knocked on the door of the adjoining cabin, where Mr. and Mrs. Allison had just fallen asleep, and said, rather timorously, that she thought the ship had encountered some trouble. “Sarah, you’re nervous,” Mr. Allison said. “Go back to bed. ” The Countess wrapped herself in a floor-length silk dressing gown. She opened her cabin door and signaled to a steward walking by. ” she asked. “We’ve struck some ice,” the steward reported. ” One deck below, Caroline Bonnell and her cousin Natalie Wick were nearly asleep when it seemed that the ship, so Caroline thought, gave a great shiver all through.

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