She has been remembered as the "White Widow of the Titanic." But she was much more than that... Eloise Hughes Smith was born into an upper-class West Virginia political family in the era Mark Twain christened the Gilded Age. She grew up among American presidents and other figures of social importance during a time of rapid, unprecedented change. Finding love as a debutante bride, her romantic bliss was derailed in April 1912 by the sinking of the Titanic, an event that left Eloise widowed and pregnant at the age of 18. "Gilded Tragedy" is the first complete account of this remarkable woman's life story. A widow of the Titanic she was indeed, but she was also a mother, political activist, suffragette, writer, and public speaker. Through it all, she overcame disillusionment and sorrow because, more than anything else, Eloise was a survivor.
Brandon Whited has spent his entire life in the Appalachian region of southwest Virginia. He acquired his love for writing at the age of six, and has been fascinated by the Titanic and maritime history since age ten. Whited has been a member of the Titanic International Society since 2012, a trustee since 2019, and has had numerous articles and book reviews published in the Society’s quarterly journal, Voyage. Gilded Tragedy: West Virginia’s TitanicWidow was his first book.