MOSCOW, January 24 (Sputnik) — A letter sent two months after the Titanic disaster by a British aristocrat who was reviled for fleeing in a lifeboat that was only one-quarter full has been sold by a Boston auction house for $11,875, AFP reports.
"How kind of you to send me a cable of sympathy from New York on our safety," Duff-Gordon wrote in the letter to a friend in the US, dated May 27, 1912. "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."
Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon, 48, and her husband Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, 49, became notorious in the aftermath of the disaster, after it emerged that they had escaped the disaster in a lifeboat carrying only 12 people, including seven crew members, despite having space for 40 passengers. At least 1,500 people lost their lives in the tragedy, from a total of around 2,200 passengers who were estimated to have been on board the ship.
In 2012 the same auction house, RR Auction in New England, sold the silk Japanese kimono-style full-length robe worn by Duff-Gordon as she escaped on emergency lifeboat number one for $75,205, which became known as the "Money Boat" due to allegations that the couple bribed the crew not to return for more passengers.
The couple were later asked to give evidence to the British Wreck Commissioner's inquiry into the tragedy, which was held from May to July the same year. The couple, whose testimony drew wide interest, were cleared of wrongdoing by the inquiry, but nevertheless continued to be dogged by the bad publicity. According to the auctioneers, who regularly deal with Titanic memorabilia, Duff-Gordon later said that her husband, a Scottish baronet, was "brokenhearted over the negative coverage for the rest of his life."