Author Kristen Iversen Takes a New Look At the Titanic’s “Unsinkable” Molly Brown
April 3, 2012
p>From the "unsinkable" Molly Brown to unheralded passengers, the survivors of the Titanic disaster have many tales to tell.
Two of those stories are shared by authors Kristen Iversen and Julie Hedgepeth Williams, who help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great ship's sinking in Titanic Lives on Sunday, April 15, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Their presentation coincides with Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition now on display at Union Station Margaret Tobin Brown-of "unsinkable" fame-survived the 1912 disaster. But in the ensuing century her story has taken on mythological elements. Now, with unprecedented cooperation from Brown descendants, Iversen in Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth presents the real story of this remarkable woman, from her modest Missouri roots to life in Denver during the Gilded Age. This is a Molly Brown that few know-a passionate and outspoken crusader for the rights of women, children, mine workers, and others struggling to find their voice in the early 20th century.
Williams' A Rare Titanic Family draws on first-person accounts from her great-uncle Albert Caldwell, who with his wife Sylvia and 10-month-old son Alden found themselves on the sinking ocean liner. The family had left their missionary work in Thailand in an effort to preserve Sylvia's health, but some of their fellow churchmen thought the couple were simply reneging on their contract. Thus the Caldwells' journey home became a cat-and-mouse game of flight and pursuit.
Williams' extensive research reveals a young family saved by a combination of luck, pluck, Albert's outgoing nature, Sylvia's illness, and Alden's helplessness.
Iversen received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. She is director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Memphis and also Editor-in-Chief of The Pinch, an award-winning literary journal. She is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. Her Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth has received the Colorado Book Award for Biography and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction.
Williams is a professor of journalism at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She received a BA in English and history from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, and a master's in journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Alabama. She is the author of Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, 1910.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series. Admission is free. RSVP online or call 816.701.3407.
This event is co-sponsored by Park University.