The SS Princess Alice, was a Thames pleasure paddle steame, formerly captained by Ogden Hartman.

Against his wishes, he was ordered to ferry a larger number of passengers than optimal capacity, which proved tragic when a night collision with a coal steamer set the boat ablaze, and sank the overloaded vessel, drowning most of the passengers and crew.

Having managed to escape alive, the finger of blame was laid squarely at Ogden. Unable to cope, he began drinking heavily, but was unable to assuage his feelings of guilt.

As an outlet, he began to obsessively paint pictures of the boat, all in various stages of distress.

Real Life[edit | edit source]

The SS Princess Alice

The incident mentioned in Koudelka is based on the true events surrounding the sinking of the SS Princess Alice.

Captained by William R.H. Grinsted, it collided with the coal-ship, Bywell Castle, on 3rd September 1878, splitting the ship in two, and causing it to sink.

With a death toll of over 650 people, Captain Grinsted among them, it is the greatest loss of life of any British inland waterway shipping disaster.

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