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Titanic memoirs to go under hammer

The memoirs of Helen Churchill Candee, the woman who inspired Kate Winslet?s role in Titanic, will go on sale this month.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 16:56 IST

The memoirs of Helen Churchill Candee, the woman who inspired actress Kate Winslet’s role in the blockbuster Titanic, will be auctioned this month.

In her memoirs, Candee describes the final moments of the ill-fated Titanic which, when it sank into the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage, claimed over 1,523 lives.

“The impact was below me. It toppled me over. We had struck the top of a mountain in the sea, a mountain never before discovered.                      

   Helen Churchill Candee

It must be so. With the cabin door thrown open two or three things were sinister.

A silence absolute, a brilliance of light as in a ballroom, and an utter absence of human presence,” The Sun quoted her memoirs, as stating.

“Light after light slipped into the water in sloping slow descent; less and less becomes the stern space where the hushed crowd waits. No more sound of wireless, nor rockets. Then, at last, the end of the world.

A smooth, slow chute. Life went out on the big ship. There was no shriek, nor wail, nor frantic shout. Instead a heavy moan as of one being from whom final agony forces a single sound,” her memoirs state.

Describing the sight of the Titanic’s huge bow disappearing into the water, and how people scrambled for the stern, which had reared up at a 90 degree angle, she wrote:

“The broken bow was now hidden under water. The only space of deck slopes high toward the stern — and on this diminished point huddle the close pack awaiting death with transcendent courage.”

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said that the account given by the divorced journalist, author and women’s rights activist was the one of the "best" that existed.

“It is one of the best accounts of the night Titanic sank,” he said.

The memoirs are expected to fetch a minimum of £25,000 at the auction.

Also on auction will be the miniature portrait she gave another  passenger on board, Edward Kent, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.