Dead Wake Setting & Symbolism

Erik Larson
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The Cunard Steamship Company of Liverpool, England

The Cunard Steamship Company of Liverpool, England, was the owner of the ocean liner, the Lusitania. The Cunard Bulletin devoted an article in its weekly newsletter to, of all people, Kaiser Wilhelm who sent a telegram to the Lusitania’s builders that read, “Please deliver me without delay a dozen – baker’s measure – Lusitanias.” The German leader undoubtedly didn’t understand that it took years to build such a boat. Cunard named the ship after ancient warlike people who were difficult to conquer. Perhaps Cunard wanted to send a message to the Germans who had been a threat to Britain and Europe for a decade not to mess with the Lusitania.

After the sinking of the Lusitania, Cunard lawyers attempted to blame Captain William Turner, the ship’s captain for the disaster. They tried to portray him as taking risks, being...

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This section contains 1,422 words
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Buy the Dead Wake Study Guide
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