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Empress of Ireland by Derek Grout

Finalist for McAuslan First Book Prize in 2002


One of the largest and best-appointed vessels plying between England and Canada in the decade prior to World War I, the Canadian Pacific’s RMS Empress of Ireland is remembered today as Canada’s worst maritime disaster. Rammed by the coal-carrier Storstad in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the early hours of May 29, 1914, more than 1000 lives were lost when the Empress sank in fourteen terrible minutes.
It is easy enough to forget that this ship actually had a history, and made an important contribution to Canada’s social and economic development, transporting thousands of people to new lives in Canada. Using diaries and letters of passengers and crew, this well-illustrated book relates the history of the Empress, and details life aboard a liner of the golden age.

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