Eternally Lost at Sea:
A Comparative Essay on the Effect of the Demise of
the Empress of Ireland and the Titanic
Everyone knows of the tragedy that occurred on April 15, 1912. The most famous ocean liner ever constructed sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, not to be seen by human eyes again for seventy-three years. But why is the disaster of the Titanic so widely known? Not more than two years later, in late May of 1914, another ship set sail from it's port in Quebec City en route to Liverpool, only to succumb to the same fate of the Titanic. Her name? Very rarely would you ever hear anyone speak of her. Despite the fact that the Empress of Ireland had more passenger totalities than the Titanic, many people even then, were not aware of her misfortune, or had simply soon forgotten. A loss is not simply remembered because it was lost.
Among other things it is how and where. For, no matter how great the loss of life or the severity of a sinking of a ship, several factors influence, in the end, whether the disaster is embedded in our minds, or concealed in watery depths forever. Prime examples of this are the tragedies of the Empress of Ireland and the Titanic.
Back in the early 1900s, there weren't nearly as many celebrities as there are today, but if you were of upper class society, travel was only arranged on the finest of ocean liners. Both the Empress and the Titanic had luxurious accommodations in first class, but having all the media attention she did, prior to her maiden voyage, the Titanic attracted some of the wealthiest men in the world to sail with her to America. The Titanic's passenger list was one...