Tell me what you think The Titanic
Hardly a day goes by when I don't receive at least two emails at containing further revelations about the Humes and the Costins. They come from all over the world. Your views about the book, and the information you send, are very important to me, so please keep them coming, wherever you are!

Most recently I received an email from a versatile young violinist and violin teacher, Laura Riley, who lives and plays in Dubai. On a visit to the UK this year she visited a luthier in Oxford and bought violin made by Andrew Hume, Jock's father, in 1907.

'I absolutely fell in love with it,' she wrote. 'It has the most beautiful sound and enormous character.' My great grandfather would have been thrilled to hear Laura's endorsement of his theory that 'modern' violins had a finer tone than old violins like Strads.

Laura added: 'I was so saddened by the story of Jock that I decided to name my fiddle after him. I will take it back to Dubai with me, where I live and play, so the adventurous spirit of Jock will live on through this violin.'

Here is a selection from other recent emails.
I was immersed in your book from start to finish. I have always been interested to find out what happened to the musicians on the ship, because both my son and daughter are performers. For the last four years, my son has been a singer on various cruise lines and is at this very moment on a rather rocky ship somewhere in the Atlantic. Thank you for an interesting and informative book, which was very moving and certainly a story that had to be told. Many thanks.

I feel connected to Jock through your book, that’s what I love most about it. So thank you, Mr Ward, you have written a truly brilliant book that shall remain a firm favourite of mine and introduced me to a person who I feel deserves to be remembered. You should be extremely proud of your grandfather.

I have just read your great book, what a wonderful read. As an ex-seaman born and still living in Liverpool, the book was a great source of information to me, a first-class read which left tears in my eyes.

Your excellent book flows at a cracking pace from beginning to end.

Just finished reading your wonderful book.

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I picked up the paperback after visiting the museum in Halifax and visiting the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. As a genealogist I was so intrigued by your family story. Great job on your research and putting this all together. I have recommended it to my friends and did a small write-up in my local Genealogy Society newsletter. Thanks for sharing your story!

Your wonderful book was absolutely fascinating. You must have found the whole thing a very emotional experience, as I did when researching my own family tree. Thank you so much for sharing such a tragic story.

Thank you for such a thrilling read. I was shocked, surprised and moved at the facts in the book and, as a musician, I could relate very much to issues raised in the text. I was shocked to read about the aftermath and genuinely had never given consideration to the sheer size of the catastrophe. Thank you for providing such a riveting read.

I was moved by such a human and personal story and am overwhelmed by the very clear picture of the circumstances of the times. The photos and documents reproduced in the book add so much to bringing the facts to life. I loved your book, Christopher

I found your book interesting and gripping from start to end. Besides being a fascinating family history story, your description of how the corpses were found and treated was very moving...a harsh reminder of the reality

Congratulations on a fascinating piece of work. I’m just about to embark on a PhD at the age of 63 so, as an older student, your thorough research has given me huge inspiration!

And The Band Played On is one of the best accounts I have read about the Titanic – well written and absorbing.

I work as a tour guide in Halifax, NS where one of my most popular tours is called Titanic: The Continuing Mystique. I always give commentary at the tombstone of John Law Hume. Last August one of my guests, a young man of 30 (ish) placed a beautiful bouquet at Jock's tombstone. Later I asked why. He simply looked at me and said, "I am a musician." And so lives the spirit of John Law Hume.

I bought your book to read on my recent holiday to Los Angeles and Las Vegas where I visited the Titanic exhibition of the artefacts that had been recovered from the wreck. I was half way through your book at the time and it made the story come alive to me. Thank you for sharing your family's story, I enjoyed it very much.

Congratulations on the book - compulsive reading, and I blame it entirely for my failure to get out of bed on Sunday morning. It was especially interesting to me, as my partner and I happen to be living near Dumfries.

I have just finished reading your book and was enthralled by it. It is now going to be passed round the family to have a read too. Thanks for opening my eyes to such an important part of history.

I loved the book and thought your research was sensational. It was the little details that drive home the enormity of what happened. It's not just the close up of the events after the ship sank, but also the marvellous picture that emerges of a small Scottish community. It is one of those mysterious points in history after which nothing is quite the same again.

My wife and I have just finished your book... what a truly wonderful read.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed "And the Band Played On." I thought the way you combined your personal account and search with the story line, the social and the family history, was masterly and very well written.

Thank you for such a great read. I'm a Kiwi born and bred back in 1935, and my wife is from Scotland. In 1999 we returned to catch up with family and spent some time in Dumfries, so we certainly could relate to your family.

Just wanted to say I loved reading your book. I was very moved to read about the final resting place of the passengers in Halifax. I hope that my journeys will take me there one day to pay respects. Congratulations on your book.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this book, and to write it so well. Your grandmother and great grandmother must have been very strong women, as must your own mother. Their lives were shaped by the times they lived in.

I am writing to say how much I enjoyed your book. What a remarkable tale of intrigue after poor Jock's demise. I have had a lifelong fascination with the Titanic story, as my mother was taught by the wife of the wireless operator, Harold Bride, when she was a young girl growing up in Whithorn. I hope your book continues to do well.

A superb story. My maternal grandfather was the Titanic bandmaster Wallace Hartley's cousin and they often made music together with Wallace on the violin and my grandfather on the piano. My grandfather was one of the pallbearers at Hartley's funeral and my mother (who died in 2009 aged 101) remembered as a five year old watching the cortege from Colne Town Hall.

I was fortunate in being the first person in Nelson, NZ to borrow And the Band Played On from the local library. I have really enjoyed reading it and congratulate you on the way you have brought the main characters to life and made the narrative read like a detective story that held my interest right to the final full stop! Thank you once again for your lovely book.

Home alone. Fiona at a meeting. Kids out. Totally immersed in brilliant new Titanic book And The Band Played On by Christopher Ward. Strongly recommend it. Amazing family story, also brilliant portrayal of ghastly class system.

Thank you for writing such a fascinating book and sharing your family's story. You have shown that the tragedy of the Titanic has impacted many people in so many ways over many years.

Have just read your book and have to say its brilliant. Couldn't put it down. It brought a lump to my throat a few times. Thanks for writing such a thoroughly engrossing book.

Your book was a wonderful read and I am sending this simple note to express my pleasure in reading And the Band Played On. It's a very moving story indeed.

I am full of amazement at your story, and at the literary achievement. You tell the tale so elegantly and what a tale it is. It must have been painful for you in many ways, even though these relations were mostly unknown to you, yet you have been scrupulously honest and careful. One angle that struck me, especially after reading your optimistic tone on visiting Jock's old school, was just how well the story explodes golden-age nostalgia myths. The good old days? No, thanks! A world in which a man's pay can be stopped at the moment the ship went down is not a world I would prefer to this one.

Just thought I'd say congratulations on a superb book, which I've just finished reading. I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

Have just finished reading your book and had to tell you how much I enjoyed it. What an amazing story and so beautifully written. Definitely one of my best reads this year. I hope the book achieves the massive sales it deserves.

I am a collector and avid reader of First Editions on political and military history as well as events of great historical note. I have just added to my library your excellent and informative work for which I congratulate you. I can assure you it will have a pride of place within my collection.

What an incredible and moving story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Your book truly reaches into the depths of the soul.

Your account of your family`s interesting but tragic story had me captivated from the very first page. I cannot get my head around the fact that Mary Costin abandoned your mother when she married. Maybe her husband did not want your mother? Maybe the stigma of marrying someone with an "illegitimate" child was too much for him and Mary was required to make a very tough decision to secure her own future. We will never know. Anyway Christopher, well done and thanks for sharing your family's story with us.

I have this minute just closed the cover of you fantastic book 'And the Band Played On'. May I commend you on one of the finest books I have read. Your vivid description of the sinking and recovery was not only gripping, but heart wrenching. In so many books on the topic, the recovery mission is often just glazed over with gentle references to the Mackay-Bennett and little embellishment on the actual horror of the mission itself.
Read serialisations of this incredible story in the following publications:
Mail Online
The Gleaner
Buy now on Amazon
'A heartbreaking story wonderfully told' Julian Fellowes,
creator of Downton Abbey
And the Band Played On
Buy now on Amazon
And the Band Played On
Order the book online from Amazon or through the website of the publishers, Hodder and Stoughton. Also available as an iBook from Apple's iBookstore.
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