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Tea and Talks, the Ocean Liner Normandie

(Photo contributed) Normandie set sail fom Le Havre, France, on May 29, 1935.

LENOX- Richard René Silvin returns to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to present a Tea & Talk on the subject of his latest book, “Normandie,” the Tragic Story of the Majestic Ocean Liner on June 25 at 4 p.m.

Following will be a Victorian tea during which the speaker will autograph copies of his book.

Silvin’s father was French and his mother was American. With lasting memories of crossing the Atlantic as a child accompanying his parents on such splendid ocean liners as Ile de France, the Queen Elizabeth and even the last completed crossing of the Andrea Doria, Silvin focuses on the French Line’s most glorious and glamorous flagship that first set sail from Le Havre on May 29, 1935.

Normandie died an inglorious death by fire at a New York dock on the Hudson River on February 10, 1942, two months after Pearl Harbor and with war ravaging in Europe.

Silvin introduces us to his book by stating, “The story of Normandie’s demise affected me deeply as a young child. I read as much as I could about her life and death. I studied her deck plans and craved hearing anyone’s stories about their crossing aboard her…I used to boast that, even though I had never set foot on Normandie, I could give tours of all her astonishing public rooms and many of her private suites.”

Tickets for the Silvin talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For reservations, call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or visit

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

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