There is a swirling fog of sadness and loss that sometimes accompanies the delicate act of disentangling from a character. Miss Evelyn Marsden, the nurse aboard the Titanic, provided leagues of inspiration and provoked endless curiosity about the ship, her business aboard it, and her all-too-short life thereafter. While it was my duty to portray her in interactions with museum visitors as part of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota, I did so only in name, dialect, and in recounting of daily shipboard life. I learned from more than two hundred hours of research and beautiful letters written by her cabin-mate Miss May Sloan, and Evelyn’s husband, Dr. William Abel James, that she was kind, sensitive, grateful, and beloved. After six months and hundreds of thousands of visitors, I only wish I have given her the portrayal she deserved.
The ship officially sunk Sunday night and will stay that way. Bon voyage, dear Titanic. Goodnight, dear crew. Rest in sweet peace Evelyn Marsden. Thank you for lending me your story.