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The Sinking of the Lusitania


The reasons behind the German’s targeting this seemingly innocuous passenger ship remains controversial to this day. Launched in 1907 and torpedoed May 7, 1915, the RMS Lusitania sank within 18 minutes, with only 761 of the 1,959 people aboard surviving the attack.

Lusitania sinks
Lusitania sinks
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HBO Documentary Film – Triangle: Remembering The Fire


CNN will present the HBO documentary TRIANGLE: REMEMBERING THE FIRE this SATURDAY, MARCH 26 at 11:00 p.m. (ET)/8:00 p.m. (PT), it was announced jointly today by HBO and CNN.

TRIANGLE: REMEMBERING THE FIRE tells an historic story that is still relevant today. On March 25, 1911, a catastrophic fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. Trapped inside the upper floors of a ten-story building, 146 workers – mostly young immigrant women and teenage girls – were burned alive or forced to jump to their deaths to escape an inferno that consumed the factory in just 18 minutes. It was the worst disaster at a workplace in New York State until 9/11. The tragedy changed the course of history, paving the way for government to represent working people, not just business, for the first time, and helped an emerging American middle class to live the American Dream.

TRIANGLE: REMEMBERING THE FIRE, which debuted March 21 on HBO, was directed by Daphne Pinkerson; produced by Daphne Pinkerson and Marc Levin; written by Michael Hirsch, Richard Lowe and Daphne Pinkerson; scenes from “The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal” directed by Mel Stuart. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

Official HBO Website

Ettie: The Intimate Life and Dauntless Spirit of Lady Desborough


Ettie_UKBiographies on Edwardian aristocrats largely confine themselves to Jennie Jerome, Lillie Langtry, and Consuelo Vanderbilt, so it’s a treat to discover one written about one of the most famous women of the era who has since fallen into obscurity.

Born in 1867 and orphaned at three, Ettie Fane was brought up by a beloved grandmother and then two adoring, almost incestuous, bachelor uncles. At twenty she married Willy Grenfell, later Lord Desborough, a genial sportsman. Beautiful, rich, charming and clever, Ettie soon became the centre of the Souls, arbiters of wit and elegance, and a leading hostess at the two magnificent country houses she had inherited. Leading politicians, writers and artists were very much part of her circle. This was the EnglEttie_USand of country-house parties, separate bedrooms and well understood liaisons. Ettie was soon having affairs. But there was a dark side too, as this book will reveal. Ettie could be manipulative and cruel, and her husband increasingly took long holidays abroad. Her eldest son Julian, after a nervous breakdown at Oxford, rejected her world and values. Nemesis and tragedy were not far away. In 1915 Julian died of war wounds. Six weeks later her second son Billy was killed in action. Her youngest son Ivo would be killed shortly after the war. Other deaths on the Western Front – of lovers and younger admirers – hurt her terribly too. But despite intense private misery, she reacted with outward courage and self-mastery. Grief revealed the greatness of her spirit. In the 1920s and 1930s she continued to collect new types, especially gifted young men, relishing people of all ages up to her death in 1952, a redoubtable survivor from a vanished age. – Source

Released last August in hardcover in the UK, a softcover US edition is scheduled for release this October.

Further Reading:
Heartbreak and Privilege – Standpoint Mag
Review – The Telegraph
Adventures of a lost soul – The Spectator
Revelations of Ettie Desborough, an Edwardian A-List – The Daily Mail