Book Love: A Rare Titanic Family

It’s been 100 years since the sinking of the once proclaimed “unsinkable” Titanic ship. Long time, right? Y’all know that the sinking of the ship still intrigues people. I’ve enjoyed watching the specials over the years, wondering what treasures lie beneath the sea and lamenting the lives lost.

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, the story of the Titanic was made into a famous movie starring Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio that was recently released on the big screen in 3D. Who can forget that scene with DiCaprio and Winslett on the bow of the ship?

Well, a belle got her little hands on a book written by a the great-niece of a Titanic survivor and to say I had a great read is an understatement. A Rare Titanic: The Caldwell’s Story of Survival by Julie Hedgepeth Williams is about Albert and Sylvia Caldwell, former missionaries and survivors of the Titanic.

For all you local readers, Williams is a professor at Samford University. She opens the story by introducing the Caldwell’s educational background and how they became missionaries. The reader is led on a journey with their modest upbringings, Sylvia’s acting and singing and Albert’s hope to be the principal of a school in Siam (now Thailand). We learn about the Caldwell’s cross country sailing to Siam, their fleeing the area due to Sylvia’s mysterious illness, and their time spent on the doomed ship.

The book makes one feel as if they are actually on-board the Titanic with Albert, Sylvia and their son Alden. I could visualize the food the Caldwell’s ate as they dined amongst the ship like royalty. You can feel the fear as the story is told about what happens when the Titanic hits the iceberg and what ensues. Williams does a great job with giving a lot of historical context; she even delves into what happens to the Caldwell’s after the Titanic. I won’t spoil this for you though.

If you are a history buff, or just a nerd like me, I know you’ll enjoy this book. The Titanic is such a fascinating part of history and the book offers an insight into the history of the Caldwell’s true survival. The stories that are told are quite fascinating, and it is refreshing to know Williams cemented her family’s place in history with this book.

You can buy the book on Amazon here or on Kindle. These links are affiliate links. Are you intrigued by the history of the Titanic? What book(s) are you currently reading?

Update: Check out out fun at the Titanic exhibition in Atlanta, GA!!!

Disclosure: The book was sent to us by New South Books for review. Our opinions are a belle’s own. The Amazon link is an affiliate link.

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Comments To This Entry
  1. Thank you, Shermika! What a terrific review! You made my day! :D I will be so pleased to show this to people and quote it on my book’s website.

    If any of your local readers would like me to speak about the book, they should contact me on Facebook at “Julie Hedgepeth Williams” or at “A Rare Titanic Family.”

    Again, many thanks!

    • You are most welcome! Thank you Julie for sharing your family history with the world. The Titanic had an indelible mark on history. Hopefully, we’ll hear you speak soon–what an amazing story. You gave me a lot of insight into who Albert was as a person–not just as a survivor.

      Shermika on June 7, 2012
    • Thanks! I post my speeches on my website, https://sites.google.com/site/raretitanicfamily/. I'd love to see you and your readers at any one of them!

      Julie Williams on June 7, 2012
  2. The Titanic was an amazing story but truly sad.

    thefashionistachic on June 7, 2012 Reply
    • It was a sad story, but so interesting!

      Tamika on June 12, 2012
  3. Since I work in libraries, I get to see Titanic books all the time. Kids absolutely love the subject and are always asking for the books

    Eli on June 7, 2012 Reply
    • They do seem to love the subject. We just checked out the Titanic exhibit in Atlanta and the kids were excited there. Fab exhibit if you are into that history by the way.

      Tamika on June 12, 2012
  4. Eli, you are so right. I’d love to write a children’s Titanic book about Alden Caldwell, the baby of “A Rare Titanic Family.” :)

    • Julie, you most def should write a children’s book. That would be fab & the nephew would love to read it!

      Tamika on June 12, 2012
  5. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the children’s book! :D

    Julie Hedgepeth Williams on June 12, 2012 Reply
  6. Fabulous review, Shermika! I’m always looking for new books to read, and I love to know what fellow bloggers have on their book shelves. I really can’t imagine the horror of being on a sinking ship — so glad the Caldwells made it through!

    AsianCajuns Lar on June 20, 2012 Reply
    • Thanks Lar! It’s my goal to do a book review monthly on the blog. I have another one up now. I’m also on Goodreads if you want to see what I’ve read/am reading. I LOVE to read and I know you do as well since you said you can never have enough books. I’m glad the Caldwell’s made it as well…if they didn’t, we wouldn’t get to learn about their history.

      Shermika on June 20, 2012
  7. I love your comments, everyone. Thanks! I’m so glad I knew my great-uncle and his story. :)

    Julie Hedgepeth Williams on June 21, 2012 Reply

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