Summary and book reviews of Lusitania by Greg King

Lusitania

Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age

by Greg King, Penny Wilson

Lusitania by Greg King, Penny Wilson X
Lusitania by Greg King, Penny Wilson
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2015, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2016, 416 pages

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Book Summary

On the 100th Anniversary of its sinking, King and Wilson tell the story of the Lusitania's glamorous passengers and the torpedo that ended an era and prompted the US entry into World War I.

Lusitania: She was a ship of dreams, carrying millionaires and aristocrats, actresses and impresarios, writers and suffragettes – a microcosm of the last years of the waning Edwardian Era and the coming influences of the Twentieth Century. When she left New York on her final voyage, she sailed from the New World to the Old; yet an encounter with the machinery of the New World, in the form of a primitive German U-Boat, sent her – and her gilded passengers – to their tragic deaths and opened up a new era of indiscriminate warfare.

A hundred years after her sinking, Lusitania remains an evocative ship of mystery. Was she carrying munitions that exploded? Did Winston Churchill engineer a conspiracy that doomed the liner? Lost amid these tangled skeins is the romantic, vibrant, and finally heartrending tale of the passengers who sailed aboard her. Lives, relationships, and marriages ended in the icy waters off the Irish Sea; those who survived were left haunted and plagued with guilt. Now, authors Greg King and Penny Wilson resurrect this lost, glittering world to show the golden age of travel and illuminate the most prominent of Lusitania's passengers. Rarely was an era so glamorous; rarely was a ship so magnificent; and rarely was the human element of tragedy so quickly lost to diplomatic maneuvers and militaristic threats.

Excerpt
Lusitania

Walking the deck with Edwin Friend, Theodate Pope noted that Lusitania was going so slow that she thought the engines had stopped. Looking out across the water, "a marvelous blue and very dazzling in the sunlight," she said, "How could the officers ever see a periscope there?" Suddenly, the impact came; she likened the sound to "an arrow, entering the canvas and straw of a target, magnified a thousand times," rapidly followed by another "dull" explosion from somewhere below. "By Jove, they've got us!" Friend cried out, slamming his fist against his hand. They ran into a small corridor just outside the Smoking Room to escape the water and debris raining down on the deck; as they entered, Lusitania lurched to starboard, hurling them against the wall. Stepping back out into the sunlit afternoon, Theodate saw that "the deck suddenly looked very strange, crowded with people," including two women who "were crying in a pitifully weak way." As they made their way through "...

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Reviews

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This book is amazing. I knew just a little about the sinking of the Lusitania and after reading this book I feel as if I were there on the ship. The rich details and tremendous research that obviously went into writing this book make for great reading…I have never read a book before where I felt that it was happening to me. This book really is remarkable.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

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Media Reviews

Library Journal

..Those curious about the aftermath of the Titanic disaster as well as maritime, military, or general history should be intrigued by the offering

Booklist

More than a chronicle of the tragedy, this offers a penetrating look at the end of the Edwardian era.

Kirkus Reviews

Those who relish tales of the rich and famous will appreciate this book, but the real joy is in the authors' detective work and attention to detail.

Reader Reviews

Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)

Lusitania
This is a scholarly work by Greg King and Penny Wilson who have done a marvelous job of telling us about this famous ship. They did an in depth study on the passengers who were aboard including what their lives were like before the sailing, how they ...   Read More

Joni W. (Nappanee, IN)

Lusitania: Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age
Excellent coverage of a true tragedy. Despite the warning printed in the newspapers, most people still sailed thinking they would be protected by their captain and their government and instead were betrayed by both. I especially appreciated the ...   Read More

Marie D. (Waretown, NJ)

The Lusitania: A voyage to hell...
The Lusitania by Greg King and Penny Wilson The tragic story is told in suspenseful and riveting detail. The reader, as an unbooked passenger, observes from a safe distance as the disaster plays out day by day -- while helpless to intervene! ...   Read More

Anita S. (Boynton Beach, FL)

Amazing!,
This book is amazing. I knew just a little about the sinking of the Lusitania and after reading this book I feel as if I were there on the ship. The rich details and tremendous research that obviously went into writing this book make for great ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The Mighty Lusitania

LusitaniaGreg King and Penny Wilson's Lusitania commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship by exploring its glamorous passengers and the fateful torpedo that highlighted a microcosm of the elegant Edwardian era and possibly initiated the U.S. involvement in World War I (WWI).

In 1915, after the beginning of WWI, a German U-boat torpedoed and sunk the RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner. It was the 101st trip RMS Lusitania had made across the Atlantic Ocean. Its first trip was in 1907. More than 1100 people were killed. Why did this tragedy happen? And did it prompt the U.S. to get into the war?

Dining RoomPresident Woodrow Wilson had pledged neutrality when the war began, and public opinion in the U.S. was in agreement. But soon...

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