“The Lost Deposition of Glynnis Smith McLean” by Scott Stevens is an historical novel based on fact. Glynnis was a survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster. She and her new husband were sailing from Ireland to America to start their new life. She made it to a lifeboat while her husband went to a watery grave in the North Atlantic. She was aboard the Carpathia, but for some reason the record was lost. She was, however interviewed on board ship before sailing back to Ireland by Senator William Alden Smith and his stenographer Mary Altford. He was then to return to the Senate and share his findings with the investigation. Mrs. Altford’s granddaughter discovered this “lost’ interview among her personal belongings after her parents passed away. She offered it to the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and it was published as a serial in 1962 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
The deposition conveys what transpired after it was determined that the Titanic would indeed sink. It was heart-rending to read about the separation of families due to the absence of enough lifeboats for the passengers and crew. “Women and children first” was the procedure that the ship’s crew went by, however because of the delay in realizing just what a perilous dilemma they were in, no one was anxious to leave their loved ones until it was too late.
I found this book to be a very imaginable tale of the last moments of the Titanic and its passengers and crew. So much has been written about this event and the fact that there is a first-hand account available is remarkable. History buffs who are genuinely interested in that event in 1912 will definitely regard this book as important to their interest.
It is early 1912 when teenage newlyweds Ian and Glynnis McLean decide to immigrate from Ireland to San Francisco. Slated to depart as first-class passengers on an American-owned ship, their plans suddenly change when that voyage is canceled due to a coal strike. After the McLeans trade in their tickets for second-class accommodations aboard the Titanic, they unknowingly transform the course of their lives forever. Only one of them survives that frigid April night. In her possession is her beloved diaries—the only things she saves besides herself.
In diary entries that begin in 1903, Glynnis details a childhood filled with cooking and sewing lessons, and a secret admiration for the neighbor boy, Ian. Glynnis records their journey together as Ian first rejects her advances and then eventually proposes marriage. As life leads them to step aboard the Titanic, fate intervenes, leaving Glynnis the survivor of one of the greatest tragedies ever known. But what she does not know is that when she provides testimony after the event, it is never entered into the record. Fifty years later, the truth is finally revealed through a lost deposition and excerpts from her cherished diaries.
In this historical novel based on true events, a widowed survivor of the Titanic disaster reveals her history as a young girl in Ireland and how love led her onto a ship destined for tragedy.