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TV actor, producer and screenwriter
Valentine Palmer sets out to write the definitive account of the
Titanic’s sinking. As the 100th anniversary of the fateful night
approaches, Palmer follows up innumerable conflicting stories
and theories that still, to this day, surround the doomed liner.
Charles Herbert Lightoller, Palmer’s
great uncle, was the highest ranking surviving officer from the
disaster. It was only after the great man’s death in 1952 that
his sister, Gertrude, Palmer’s eccentric grandmother, began to
hint to her young grandson of the contradictory accounts of both
her brother’s supposed heroism and his suspect testimonies at
the investigations into the sinking. Palmer’s grandmother
doesn’t accuse Joseph Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the
White Star Line, in so many words. Rather, she chooses to
address her grandson in riddles, which have taken him a lifetime
to interpret. This, Grandma Gertrude hints, is the man who made
her brother ‘an offer he couldn’t refuse’!
In-depth research by a number of
parties over the past 100 years reveals that something was not
quite right about the testimonies of both Ismay and Lightoller.
Britain’s preparation for possible war with Germany, tales of
gold and priceless treasures aboard the doomed liner and a
possible insurance fraud of unimaginable complexity are just
some of the mysteries and possible conspiracies that Palmer
seeks to shed new light on in this fascinating book.
With dogged determination he works
his way through the revelations of his great aunt, Lightoller’s
widow, and his maternal grandmother’s hints of cover-ups at the
highest level. Palmer’s searches take him through the maze of
conflicting testimonies and reported conversations from
survivors. His task becomes ever more daunting as he sees the
truth, like his great uncle’s honour, become increasingly
shrouded in the mists of time.
...And The Strange Case of Great Uncle Bertie
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ABOUT VALENTINE PALMER:
Valentine has spent some 35 years on
both sides of the camera in the world of media and
entertainment. His early career embraced leading roles in
London’s West End (Bill Sikes in ‘Oliver!’), as well as
appearances in many of Britain’s best loved TV series (‘Doctor
Who’, ‘Minder’). However, it was his writing skills developed in
producing commercials and corporate video that led Valentine to
screenwriting assignments in Hollywood and his debut as a
feature director with his low budget hit, ‘Fanny Hill’.
As well as his screenwriting work,
Valentine trains top business people (Cisco Systems, Deutsche
Bank) from around the world in personal communication skills. In
this role his coaching has been seen on various reality
programmes on both BBC TV and Channel 5.