Ex-nurse and policewoman Joan Lock has written eight non-fiction police/crime books, including three on Scotland Yard’s first detectives and a history of the British Women Police – a subject on which she is an authority. Dead Born (Hale, 2001), the second of her seven volume Victorian crime series was based around the Princess Alice disaster.
Joan has also written short stories, radio plays and radio documentaries, as well as working as a columnist on the leading police journal, Police Review, and Red Herrings, the magazine of the Crime Writers Association.
The Princess Alice Disaster by Joan Lock
The collision of the Princess Alice pleasure steamer with the Tyne collier, Bywell Castle, in the Thames in September 1878 resulted in Britain’s worst-ever inland waterway accident. Almost 650 Princess Alice passengers and crew died. Whole families were wiped out; many children were left orphans; parents childless. The nation wept.
Joan Lock describes vividly the lead up to the accident, the disaster itself and its aftermath. She then delves into the quarrels that the tragedy devolved into, as each side blamed the other during the extended inquiries to discover just how the accident happened and why so many people drowned. In the process, the author makes a startling discovery….