It is a long and interesting road to bring a book through traditional publishing, especially in these challenging times in the industry. Gradually the welcome dawn broke; and as the sun rose and we looked at where the sky and sea met, we saw one of the most wonderful sights that could be imagined.
To my utter delight, I had very encouraging feedback from my advance readers. So I could only do what women have had to do from the beginning, eat my heart out with fear and wait. It was a tragedy of colossal proportions. One can imagine the discussion in the Graham home when George was told Eaton’s needed him to go on a buying trip to Europe in 1912.
Ravenscraig has been shortlisted for the 2011 Manitoba Historical Society’s prestigious Margaret McWilliams Award in Popular History.
The shocking news of the Titanic striking an iceberg late at night on Sunday, April 14, 1912, hit the telegraph wires and fed newspaper offices throughout the world. We had retired to our cabin about 10, and my husband who thoroughly enjoyed the life aboard ship and drank his fill of the ozone,-he could never get enough of it,-was soon undressed and fast asleep in his bunk. At the same that I was working through new revisions with Greg, Ravenscraig caught the attention of Peter St. John of Heartland Associates and the long road to find a publisher ended in Winnipeg with Heartland purchasing the Canadian rights. And then all of a sudden there came the most awful sound I have ever heard in my life,-a dreadful tearing and ripping sound,-how any people were awake at the time can say they scarcely felt a shock I cannot understand,-the sound of great masses of steel and iron being violently torn, rent and cut asunder. The world’s largest ship, termed “unsinkable” by the press, was reported to be going down by the head, with nearby ships speeding to the rescue to take the passengers off. 438 ratings. From early Tuesday morning until after midnight there was never a time that there was not an eager mass of people keen for the latest news as it trickled slowly through its sources from the wireless instruments of the great liners far out in the Atlantic through telegraph and newspaper offices and the headquarters of the big shipping offices, until if finally found is way to Winnipeg. A jumble of facts, speculation, and outright falsehoods moved steadily along the wires. The Titanic was the most luxurious ocean liner in the world. While sitting there I had the impression that there was somebody near me who ought not to be there. It hefted like a book. Less than three hours after striking the iceberg, the Titanic sank, and took with her the lives of over 1500 people. Over 1500 people died. Even the third class passengers were treated to steerage accommodations that were widely hailed as well superior to the norm. Named after an HBC factor, or trader, James Allan Graham, the prominent department store still anchors one end of the avenue. So she went away and quickly came back saying that everything was all right. News writers, editors, linotype operators and pressmen worked around the clock to bring the story to a clamorous public. She chose to sleep in the day time and stay fully clothed and sitting up at night. I say it was a warning from God to me, for I think that perhaps I was the only one of the 2,000 odd about who went in daily and nightly dread of the unforeseen. Dark and cold was the night when the ship steamed into the ice field. My husband was always a man who could bear extremes of heat and cold better than anyone I have ever met. The holiday was Mark Fortune’s gift to his family. IN most cases the boys have simply started out with all of the papers they could carry and always they have come back for more. The next morning at breakfast, he laughingly told our table about it, and said what he was going to do that (Sunday night) to keep me quiet. He was a very clever carpenter and his chest of tools was considered to be as perfect and expensive as any carpenter could wish for. A school teacher in England, whose name was not recorded, conducts an interview with Eva Hart on the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in 1987. If anyone has any information on the friend in Winnipeg who persuaded Benjamin Hart to leave Britain, I would be very interested in hearing from you. Hence, a great deal of attention was paid in the newspapers to “prominent people”, as in this excerpt from an article in the Manitoba Free Press on April 17, 1912. An oversight I suppose: but one fraught with terrible consequences had not the Carpathia arrived in good time. Eva became one of the best known survivors of the Titanic and frequently gave interviews in her later years. After years of searching he came upon the famous unsinkable ship 2.5 miles down on the ocean floor. God bless the ladies of the “Women’s Relief Committee of New York,” say I heartily and fervently. Ilford Graphic, Friday, May 10, 1912. “Where I’ll either sink or swim.” In fact, during the time prior to our leaving Ilford, the latter statement was always in his mouth. “Clothing was burned to stop souvenir hunters but he was too emotional when he saw the little pair of brown, leather shoes about fourteen centimeters long, and didn’t have the heart to burn them. After he investigated he realized the titanic broke in two before it sunk. There had been so much advance press about the safety of the Titanic that it was widely believed among the passengers that the ship was unsinkable. Survivors: Frank Prentice, Eva Hart, Edith Brown, Ruth Becker, Edith Rosenbaum. It is the turn of the 20th century in one of the fastest growing cities in North America; a brawling, raucous, frontier boomtown with a taste for fine theatre and loose women. Mr Brown and Ben got on capitally together. Keep together.” An inky blackness now settled over us, and not a soul in our boat had a match; but the officer found in his pockets an electric torch, which he kept flashing, shouting out all the time,- “Keep together,-it’s our only chance.” The duty that the officer allotted to me was to bale the water out of the boat. All editions have been exhausted before the demand on the streets has been satisfied. I always thought that these ship boats had to be provisioned beforehand, in view of possible accidents, but there was no water, nor were there biscuits in the boat. Dr. Ballard took nothing but pictures away from Titanic, and lost the opportunity to protect her from the removal of artifacts that subsequently followed in a number of expeditions. My lost Ben had such dreams of her future; he meant to do such things for her; and, whatever money I get, apart from the bare cost of the necessities of life, shall be devoted to her up-bringing in such a way as shall realise, as far as my endeavours and finances can go, his wishes with regard to her. The first passengers to arrive on the boat deck moved calmly and with little sense of alarm, according to survivor reports. The lists show that a Mr. Graham, Mrs. William Graham, and Miss Margaret Graham, of Winnipeg, were rescued. And worst of all, there were not enough lifeboats to carry all of those on board.
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