A British auctioneer announced plans to auction off the very last letter written aboard the Titanic before the ship sank 102 years ago this month. But more important than the price tag is what the letter tells us about those who went down with the ship.
We're all vaguely familiar with the story — and with the film version of the story: On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail for New York from the United Kingdom. Four days into its Maiden Voyage, the ship hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (Via Paramount Pictures / "Titanic")
According to the BBC, the letter being auctioned off was written just a few hours before the ship went down.
"This mighty expansive water, no land in sight and the ship rolling from side to side is being wonderful."
The BBC reports survivor Esther Hart wrote the letter to her mother in east London. Hart mentioned in the letter that she was sick the day before and that her 7-year-old daughter Eva sang "so nicely" at a church service that morning.
According to the auctioneers, Eva also added a line of her own, "heaps of love and kisses to all." (Via Henry Aldridge & Son)
More than 1,500 people died when the ship sank April 15. Hart got the letter from her husband's coat pocket before she and her daughter were rescued. Her husband didn't make it.
The letter was reportedly mentioned in Eva's biography, "Shadow of the Titanic." The Daily Mirror reports she went on to become one of the most famous survivors of the of the Titanic disaster and was outspoken critic of the White Star Line for not providing enough lifeboats. Hart died in 1996 at the age of 91. (Via New Films International / "Titanica")
Auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son expect Esther Hart's letter to fetch up to £100,000 or more than $160,000 U.S. dollars. The letter will be auctioned off with other Titanic memorabilia April 26.