Image of an oil on canvas of a scene on The Titanic depicting women and children queuing for the lifeboats while the men bade them farewell.
Women and Children First, by Fortunino Matania, 1912 (public domain).

The first event of 2023 at Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre will be an illustrated talk by historian Kevin Brown about the social class of the passengers of the Titanic, and its connections with Camden.

Even in death class distinction on the Titanic governed the disposal of the corpses that were recovered after the sinking of the liner on 15 April 1912. First-class passengers were embalmed and placed into coffins on the poop deck ready for a dignified landing, formal identification and burial.

“A different fate awaited the victims from other classes,” says Brown. “Their position in the social hierarchy was determined by the quality or coarseness of the clothing they wore and the value of their personal effects, just as their appearance and what they wore had determined their treatment in life.” 

Kevin Brown is Trust Archivist and Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum Curator at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and author of a number of works about maritime life and health.

His eight books include Poxed and Scurvied: The Story of Sickness and Health at Sea, Passage to the World: The Emigrant Experience, The Seasick Admiral: Nelson and the Health of the Navy, and Fittest of the Fit: Health and Morale in the Royal Navy 1939-1945.

Ship of Lost Ambitions: Class Distinction and the Titanic Connections with Camden, an illustrated talk by Kevin Brown. Tuesday 10 January 2023 at 6pm, at Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA. Admission Free.

One reply on “Illustrated talk on social class and passengers on the Titanic”

Comments are closed.