Lady Gordon Titanic letter among highlights at RR Auction

A letter by Lady Duff Gordon, a survivor of the Titanic, is to auction with an estimate of $6,000 ahead of a sale at RR Auction on January 22.

An aristocrat and fashion designer, Gordon and her husband were treated with derision on their arrival back in the UK after it emerged they had escaped the wreck on a nearly empty lifeboat.

Titanic letter Gordon
Lady Gordon and her husband were attacked in the press

It was claimed in some corners of the press they had bribed the crew not to go back for survivors, although this was never proven.

As the auction house puts it: "The wealthy couple soon became a popular tabloid topic with allegations that Cosmo had bribed the crew to row away faster, rather than returning to rescue others; the press ultimately dubbed it the 'Money Boat.'

"The only passengers to participate in the inquiry's hearings, it was deemed that the Duff-Gordons did not deter the crew from any attempt at rescue, but that the lifeboat might have been able to rescue others had it turned around."

She writes to a friend: "How kind of you to send me a cable of sympathy from New York on our safety. According to the way we've been treated by England on our return we didn't seem to have done the right thing in being saved at all!!!! Isn't it disgraceful."

That the letter was written just over a month after the disaster is likely to make it particularly desirable to collectors.

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