Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ship of Dreams

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.  The sinking of the Titanic is one of the greatest tragedies in history.  Although it has been a century since the infamous luxury liner sank in the Atlantic Ocean do we really know what happened on that fourth night at sea in 1912?

To honor the memory of those lives lost, and of a lifestyle long gone but not forgotten, let us reflect on some fascinating aspects about the tragic history of the Titanic.  The 'Ship of Dreams' sank somewhere in the North Atlantic, south of Newfoundland, Canada after hitting an iceberg.  Some theories suggest that if the ship's crew not attempted to turn the ship in the opposite direction of the iceberg and took the blow head on, the collision would not have resulted in a catastrophic disaster.

There were 2,228 people on board, which included 885 crew members plus Captain Edward Smith.  When the ship sank that early spring morning, the lives of both famous and the unknown were lost forever.  There was such an eclectic mix of passengers on board the ill fated liner.  Of the 2,228 passengers, only 705 survived.  Why were there not enough lifeboats?  The first lifeboat to launch, Lifeboat 7 only carried 24 people, despite having a capacity of 65.  Lifeboat 1 carried the fewest people with only 7 crew members and 5 passengers and it had a capacity for 40.  Did you know there were 9 dogs on board the Titanic and two (a Pomeranian and a Pekinese) were rescued?

A postcard sent from Queenstown by Escott Robert Phillips to his friend Bill Squires.  Phillips was lost when the ship sank, but his 21 year old daughter Alice escaped in Lifeboat 12.

(Source: The Titanic Experience)
click to enlarge

This telegram shows the desperate correspondence between Titanic and Olympic.

(Source: The Titanic Experience)
click to enlarge

I wonder what tea would have been like aboard the Titanic during the Edwardian era.  Imagine stepping onto this luxurious ship and being seated in the tea salon enjoying fine English tea, savory miniature sandwiches, and assorted fancy pastries.

For this special occasion I have brought out my Royal Albert / Paragon Victoriana Rose teacup.  This pretty cup is decorated on both sides with pastel pink roses, green leaves and wispy gray foliage with splendid gold trim.

It has a lovely back stamp from 1966.  I'm sure teacups from 1912 were just as beautiful.

Today I will enjoy a wonderful cup of white rose tea and the heavenly scent of a soft pink rose.

In the book How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay, Frances Wilson has done excellent research about the antecedents and the Edwardian milieu of the White Star Line that built and operated the Titanic.  The author spins a new epic: when the ship hit the iceberg, and one thousand men, lighting their last cigarettes, prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the ship's owner and inheritor jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety.  Her story of the three parts of Bruce Ismay's life paints a wonderful picture of the pre-sinking part, a realistic view of the confusing events during the sinking and the immediate aftermath, and an incomplete story of the remainder of Ismay's life.  The book has many different threads some of which are thought provoking.

The Titanic movie took the world by storm when released in December of 1997. Like so many others, I was captivated by the main characters, Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet) and their love story.

The tragic sinking of the Titanic and history of both those who survived and were lost, will forever be remembered with nostalgia and sadness.

To commemorate this event I will be giving away a Music Aboard the Titanic CD.  This nostalgic CD contains classical and ragtime music from the actual songbooks used by the White Star Line and includes the famous "Nearer My God to Thee," which is the last known song the band played before the Titanic sank below the waves on April 15, 1912.  This music will make you feel as if you're actually on board the Titanic.

If you would like a chance to win this CD just become a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post with your thoughts about the Titanic.  You have until midnight on Friday, April 20, 2012 to enter.  I will select the winner on Saturday, April 21, 2012 using  Good luck!


Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

I love stories about Titanic! I've been watching specials on tv about it! It was such a fabulous ship and so much went down with it. The craftsmanship and detail at every level were fabulous. The mass loss of life was inexcusable but a lot of improved safety and maritime laws were created. Your tea aegis so pretty!
I'd love to win your cd!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog, very nice! I also like your blog and became your new follower.

Greetings from Holland,

Denise Bryant said...

I've always been fascinated by the story of the Titanic. 100 years ago... amazing.
I am already a follower here... thanks for the chance to win the music!

Cynthia said...

What a beautiful post and tribute you have made. I love learning things about the Titanic.


Grandma Barb's This and That said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to the Titanic, Donna. Thank you for the chance to win the CD. I already follow you.
Have a wonderful weekend.

sharonssunlitmemories said...

Beautiful post Donna. In Ireland there have been quite a few commemorative events, both in Belfast (where the ship was built) and here in the Republic, her last port of call. In some small villages every family was affected as so many of the lower class passengers were Irish emigrants.

My mom had your tea set - it is so lovely to see it again. (I think my sister has it now - lucky thing!)

Vicki said...

Wonderful post, Donna! I can just imagine tea being served out of your beautiful cups aboard the Titanic. I always read about the Titanic with my school students each year. I am going to share some of your information with them. Have a lovely weekend, my friend~ Vicki

Antiques And Teacups said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful post. Your books are wonderful and your settings are lovely.

Beth said...

Donna, This is a very nice post. I like the research you did and the information you provided for your readers. Love your tea cup too!

Denise said...

Wonderful visiting with you.So much info.,great job in your tribute to all those lost.Denise

Denise said...

I'm now a new follower on your blog and Pinterest.Please include me in your contest for the beautiful cd

Millie said...

I was very interested in the postings today. I saw an interview with a descendant of Bruce Ismay. Even though he escaped the sinking, his life was not sweet thereafter.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Donna,
Your post is very well done and the information is wonderful. Lovely settings, and your Victoriana Rose teacup is just beautiful! Please throw my name into the pot for a chance to win your lovely CD and yes, I'm a follower. Have a lovely week.


Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hi Donna,
wonderful post with important informations. I like the real pieces full of memories and the interesting photos. And your china is perfect for the event. Thank you for having me for tea.
Best greetings, Johanna

LadyV said...

Love your tribute Donna, you did a wonderful job. I also love that pretty teacup and saucer. Thanks for tea today.



Veda said...

What a nice post!

Gee said...

Hi Donna,

What a great post with lots of information on Titanic. I have always love that victorian rose teacup and wish one fine day i could own one. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Hi Donna,

First, I have to say your blog design is absolutely beautiful! It sets the perfect atmosphere for the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic, of which you have done an amazing job of capturing the details to share with everyone. I really enjoyed reading it! You included bits of information I never knew. Thank you for sharing that. I'm now have a new follower.
Carol xx

Maria Andrade said...

Hi Donna,
Very interesting Titanic post!
Great book, beautiful flowers and lovely tea cup!
Thanks for sharing.

Donna said...

Hello Donna,

This is a beautiful post in remembrance of this glorious ship that sits at the bottom of the ocean.

Your roses and flowers are beautiful, your cup and saucer is gorgeous! I, too, love my tea - no coffee for me.

Thank you for your post, you really brought out a smile with the beauty you showed today.


Alison Meade said...

What a nice tribute to the titanic! Thanks for sharing at Beautify It Monday!

Tea in Texas said...

Thanks for sharing about the Titanic! I was fascinated about the book written about the ship's owner. I must find this book for it sounds very informative. The cup and saucer are lovely and I also wonder what a tea would have been like on the Titanic! Thanks for the information! Pam

The Victorian Girl said...

I find anything about the Titanic tragedy very fascinating. Hopefully, this summer I'll be going to the exhibit at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Houston, Texas. Very interesting post.

KarinsArtScrap said...

hi donna I think you have decorated the books and cup and those beautiful roses wonderful.
You always decorated so beautifully.
The film titanic we have seen it many times and it's a beauty.
You don't understand that so may people has to die.
It's really sad.

greetings karin

Terri said...

Oh what a lovely post! I totally enjoyed it.
The tea cup you share is so very romantic looking. I really do love it (I have it too!). It is one of my favorites.

Beck Valley Books said...

Hi Donna, what a very pretty blog you have and thankyou for popping over and letting me know about your wonderful giveaway. Im in the UK so not sure if im able to enterx Im no following you via gfc hoping you can follow me back over at

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