On the matters involving Titanic, playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1957) hated the hero-blather he read in the press; he despised all the assorted sugary-sweet romantic rot that was associated with the ship's sinking and it was only by lying, he insisted, that the newspapers made the victims out to be, in any way, heroic.
Shaw illustrated his point by referring to the survivor account by Lady Duff-Gordon (1863 - 1935):
"She described how she escaped in the captain's boat. There was one other woman in it and ten men, twelve all told, one woman for every five men."
Click here to read the socialist ramblings of George Bernard Shaw.
Click here to read various witty remarks by George Bernard Shaw.
The British critic, novelist and poet G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936) was far more outraged by the American press coverage and the remarks made by the Yankee political classes than by any other aspect of the Titanic.
A few lines devoted to those who distinguished themselves that sad evening on Titanic, as well as some thoughts concerning the tune, "Autumn" -which was performed during the closing moments of the tragedy. The article is accompanied by a photograph of U.S. Army Major Archie Butt (b. 1865), who was remembered for having kept the order during the evacuation.
It was not simply the menfolk who maintained the "stiff upper lip" as Titanic began to take water; many of the women also believed it was there place to suffer in order that others may live.
"Many other women had to be almost forced into the boats or wheeled into them."
The Titanic disaster was a sad affair on a number of levels; however April 15, 1912 was a great night for the Anglo-Saxon hegemony and the values they held dear. As this piece makes clear, chivalry and other examples of good form were all in place as the great ship went down. It was remembered with pride how even the most pampered of millionaire industrialists stepped aside so that others might have a place on the lifeboats (all except J. Bruce Ismay).
In the final hours of the Titanic's life there were examples of heroic self-sacrifice; there were also examples of selfishness and cowardice.
"Women and men, stokers and millionaires, crew and passengers, faced the grim enemy with unshaken fortitude and self-control. There were exceptions of course. In a company of 2,300 men and women of all sorts there must be some who show the yellow streak at such a time."
"Of the 1,400 passengers, 495 were saved, of whom 202 were first cabin, 115 second cabin and 178 steerage passengers. That is, 35 percent of the passengers and 22 percent of the crew survived."