- "I hope that I can figure out some way to understand all of this. Why it happened, what could have prevented it, how to keep anything like this from ever taking place again. Most of all, I hope I can learn how to forgive myself for still being alive, when so many others are not."
- —Margaret Ann writes about the Titanic disaster.
Margaret Ann Ryan (née Brady; October 1899 – 1994) was born in the East End of London, England. She boarded the RMS Titanic in 1912 as a traveling companion. Margaret Ann emigrated to the United States of America and lived in Boston with her older brother, William Brady.
Margaret Ann was born in October 1899 in the Wapping district of East London, England. She lived with parents and older brother in Wapping, William, until the death of her parents around 1907. She and her brother stayed briefly with a neighbor, before living on the streets.
In December 1907, William took Margaret Ann to live at St. Abernathy's Orphanage for Girls in the Whitechapel district. Margaret Ann had a hard time adjusting for the few months, until William started to visit her. In 1910, William traveled to America on cargo steamer to look for more work opportunities.
In March 1912, Margaret Ann was given the opportunity to board the RMS Titanic as a traveling companion to Mrs. Carstairs. In preparation for the trip, she was given a new wardrobe by Mrs. Carstairs, before boarding the ship on April 10 in Southampton, England. Margaret Ann spent the following days on the Titanic, exploring, walking Mrs. Carstairs' dog Florence, and becoming acquainted with their bedroom steward, Robert Merton.
On the night of April 15, the Titanic was struck by an iceberg and began to sink. Margaret Ann escorted Mrs. Carstairs and Florence to a lifeboat. She stayed behind to look for Robert, who walked her back to the deck, after saying goodbye. Margaret Ann was able to reach a lifeboat and was saved several hours later by the RMS Carpathia.
Margaret Ann reunited with Mrs. Carstairs on the Carpathia. The ship delivered the surviving Titanic passengers to New York on April 18. Mrs. Carstairs and Margaret Ann departed and never saw one another again, though they exchanged letters a few times. Margaret Ann waited at the dock, until William found her.
Margaret Ann lived with William in a small apartment in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from high school and attended Wellesley College on a scholarship. Margaret dropped out to take care of William, who was wounded during World War I.
She met Stanley Ryan at a bookstore in Cambridge in 1923. They married in June of that year and were together for forty-four years. She had three children with Stanley, including Dorothy, Harriet, and Robert. Margaret Ann spent much of her life volunteering for the community and later as head of a halfway house for unwed mothers, before retiring in 1965. She died in her sleep at the age of ninety-five in 1994.
Personality and traitsEdit
Margaret Ann tended to say whatever came to mind in an attempt to be clever, which sometimes resulted in the wrong thing being said. Her sense of humor, which leaned towards sarcasm, was not appreciated by most and regarded by some as "impudent". She was also prone to mischief and had a voracious appetite. Mrs. Carstairs described her as "difficult" at one point.
|Dorothy Ryan||Harriet Ryan||Robert Ryan|
Behind the scenesEdit
- Margaret Ann is the heroine in Ellen Emerson White's Voyage on the Great Titanic.
- Margaret was one of four Dear America characters made into dolls for Madame Alexander's Dear America collection in 1999 and 2000.
- She also appears in the computer game, Dear America: Friend to Friend, which features five other Dear America characters.
- In the UK edition of Voyage on the Great Titanic, Margaret Ann's middle name is spelled with an e.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, page 135
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, page 13
- ↑ Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, Epilogue, page 165
- ↑ Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, page 155
- ↑ Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, page 19
- ↑ Voyage on the Great Titanic, Ellen Emerson White, page 24