‘The moment they fell into the water the waves caught them and dashed them violently against the rocks, and the survivors on shore could perceive the unfortunate creatures…struggling amidst the waves, and one by one sinking under them.’ (Hereford Times, 28 January 1854)
The wrecking of the RMS Tayleur made headlines nearly 60 years before the Titanic. Both were run by the White Star Line, both were heralded as the most splendid ships of their time – and both sank in tragic circumstances on their maiden voyages. On 19 January 1854 the Tayleur, a large merchant vessel, left Liverpool for Australia; packed with hopeful emigrants, her hold stuffed with cargo.
On the 160th anniversary of the disaster, Gill Hoffs reveals new theories behind the disaster and tells the stories of the passengers and crew on the ill-fated vessel:
- Captain John Noble, record breaking hero of the Gold Rush era.
- Ship surgeon Robert Hannay Cunningham and his young family, on their way to a new life among the prospectors of Tent City.
- Samuel Carby, ex-convict, returning to the gold fields with his new wife – and a fortune sewn into her corsets.
But the ship’s revolutionary iron hull prevented its compasses from working. Lost in the Irish Sea, a storm swept the Tayleur and the 650 people aboard towards a cliff, studded with rocks ‘black as death’. What happened next shocked the world.
Published by Pen & Sword ISBN 9781783030477 – available to buy using any of the links below.
It’s also available as an eBook here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-RMS-Tayleur-Victorian-Titanic-ebook/dp/B00ME3JJE4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
Click on this link to read the Aberdeen Press & Journal‘s review (in the print version it’s their “Book Of The Week“) – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/books-reviews/327391/book-review-sinking-rms-tayleur-lost-story-victorian-titanic-gill-hoffs/
Or here for a review and article in the Daily Mail (including spoilers and illustrations by Frank J. Fallon that didn’t make it into the book) – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548476/The-First-Titanic-An-awesome-ships-maiden-voyage-catalogue-blunders-blood-curdling-disaster-gripping-new-book-tells-forgotten-story-Tayleur-Tragedy.html
Click on the link to read “Maggots, marmalade, and maritime food” a short piece at Pure Slush about the kind of food and drink Victorian travellers could expect/hope for/dread when travelling over the sea – http://pureslush.webs.com/maggotsmarmalade.htm
Or here for a review at ‘And then I read a book…’ – http://andthenireadabook.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-sinking-of-rms-tayleur-by-gill-hoffs.html
Or here for a guestpost at Historical Honey on the people travelling to the Australian Gold Rush – http://historicalhoney.com/going-gold/
Or here for Q&A with Scottish author Michael J. Malone – http://mickmal1.blogspot.se/2014/01/qna-with-my-bud-gill-hoffs.html
Or here for a review by author Christopher Allen – http://www.imustbeoff.com/2014/01/the-sinking-of-rms-tayleur-lost-story.html?showComment=1388597807175#c9184474665753423755
Or here for an interview with Jimmy Wagg on BBC Radio Manchester – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQWVRqqs_X4
Or here for an interview with Sean Styles on BBC Radio Merseyside – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbimUu2-19g
Or here for an interview with Howard Leader on BBC Radio Lincolnshire – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U72oVlr6R5c
Or here for an article in the Warrington Guardian on the museum visit that started the whole thing off for me, including a picture of the porthole from the Tayleur displayed there – http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/10933059.How_a_day_out_with_her_son_provided_inspiration_for_Latchford_woman_s_book/?ref=var_6
Or here for an article about the Tayleur and interview with artist Frank J. Fallon in the Irish Independent – http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books-arts/shipwrecked-the-victorian-titanic-that-foundered-on-dublin-bay-rocks-30009881.html
Or here for an insightful review and discussion of the nature of bravery by Julia Bohanna in The Inflectionist – http://theinflectionistreview.com/2014/02/24/what-it-is-to-be-brave-the-sinking-of-rms-tayleur/
Or here for video of the launch event and talk on the Tayleur at Waterstones Warrington – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foYkXoP3n6k
Or here for a short piece at Historical Honey on some of the colourful characters on board the ship – http://www.historicalhoney.com/heroes-rogues-victorian-titanic/
Or here for an interview with Literary Orphans on my writing process – http://literaryorphans.org/ttl/write-conversation-gill-hoffs-2/
Or here for a recommendation from Leeds Libraries – http://leedsreads.net/2014/04/15/the-sinking-of-the-rms-tayleur-the-lost-story-of-the-victorian-titanic/
Or here for an article in the Liverpool Echo (later reproduced in the Metro) – http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/titanic-white-star-line-ships-6948767
Or here for an essay called ‘Pig and Potatoes’ on the generosity of the Irish towards Tayleur survivors at Literary Orphans – http://literaryorphans.org/ttl/pig-potatoes-gill-hoffs/
Or here for a guestblog at the British Newspaper Archive on the youngest and arguably most tragic survivor of the RMS Tayleur, the ‘Ocean Child’ – http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2014/06/05/the-ocean-child-and-the-sinking-of-the-rms-tayleur/
Or here for a review in Diver magazine – http://www.divernet.com/other_diving_topics/reviews/2432834/the_sinking_of_rms_tayleur_by_gill_hoffs.html
Or here for details of my talk on Friday 25th April, 7pm, in the Pyramid as part of Warrington Lit Fest – http://www.pyramidparrhall.com/whats-on/event/gill-hoffs-author-talk-the-sinking-of-rms-tayleur/
Or here for an interview with Paul Salt at BBC Radio Merseyside – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-x_nrutdfA
Or here for an article in the Largs & Millport Weekly News on the message in a bottle thrown overboard by a desperate passenger – http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/news/millport/articles/2014/04/25/496355-millport-link-to-tragic-message-in-a-bottle/
Or here for a guestpost on the Victorian Titanic for A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England, featuring details of the media’s complicity in the wreck – http://visitvictorianengland.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-lost-story-of-victorian-titanic.html
Or here for a review on Pauline’s Pirates and Privateers – http://paulinespiratesandprivateers.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/books-remains-of-unhappy-creatures.html
Or here for an article in the Warrington Guardian about tracing descendants of the people involved with the RMS Tayleur – http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/11354842.Latchford_author_appeals_for_Tayleur_relatives/?
Or here for an interview I did with Jennifer Garside of Wyte Phantom Corsetry & Clothing on re-enactments, Cat Assisted Design, and women’s clothing (Jenny was very helpful to me when I was researching the high death toll for women on the Tayleur) – http://nowrigglingoutofwriting.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-sinking-of-the-rms-tayleur-author-gill-hoffs-on-how-victorian-corsetry-contributed-to-a-tragedy/
Or here for a review in Sea Breezes magazine, who name The Sinking of RMS Tayleur their Book of the Month for July – http://www.seabreezes.co.im/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=1&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=577&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=133
Or here for a guestpost on Captain Noble at The History Vault – http://www.thehistoryvault.co.uk/disaster-at-sea-and-the-fall-of-captain-noble/
Pen & Sword are currently seeking submissions for books about British history, please follow this link for further information – http://britishsocialhistory.wordpress.com/submit-a-book-proposal/ and read an interview with Sione Aeschliman about the pitching process and how this book came about – http://sioneaeschliman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/interview-with-author-gill-hoffs.html