ARNOLD BENNETT - All Aboard Mr Bennett!

£5.00

In October 1911 Arnold Bennett set sail for New York on the Lusitania. He was in his element, as the Lusitania was one of the first liners built to be like a floating hotel - and he admitted that his secret ambition had always been to be the manager of a grand hotel. In his book about his visit to the USA - Your United States - he details the workings of the ship and life on board, and we get his impressions of New York and places he visited illustrated with archive film.

For context: Also in 1911, the larger ship Olympic visited New York on her maiden voyage - her captain was Edward John Smith, also born in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. We see original film of her leaving New York and en route. The following year Smith would captain the sister ship to Olympic before he was due to retire - that ship was the Titanic. We hear expert insight into Lusitania/Olympic/Titanic and these “floating palaces”.

Three years after the Titanic disaster, in 1915, the Lusitania would be sunk by a U-Boat in WWI. We see a touching animation of the end of Lusitania - two months before Bennett visited the Western Front and wrote Over There.     40 min