In Conversation with Celia Imrie

In Conversation with Celia Imrie and Fidelis Morgan

At the beginning of December Medina Bookshop proudly presented Olivier award-winning actress Celia Imrie and Royal Shakespeare Company actress Fidelis Morgan in conversation at the Island Sailing Club about their new Titanic inspired novel Orphans of the Storm

Imrie first had the idea upon visiting the Titanic exhibition in Southampton. She saw two infants, Michel and Edmond Navratil, in a photograph and immediately wanted to know more about them. Further research revealed they were from Nice, a special connection to her home and previous bestselling books. 

To delve deeper into the research, Imrie enlisted the help of her best friend, Fidelis Morgan, because of her prolific background in writing. She already had numerous historical books under her belt. 

The heart-wrenching historical fiction debut follows the family’s true traumatic story of Marcella and Michael Navratil and their two boys. 

After receiving horrific abuse from her husband, Marcella filed for divorce. Fidelis explained: ”… He’d called her a slut, fish wife and a whore… he then finally threw a plate at her which smashed against her head…”. 

But before the finalised divorce, Michael absconded and ‘abducted’ his two children, aged only four and two, and took them aboard the Titanic to begin a new life in New York. To prevent the police from tracing them, he stole his friend Lous Hoffman’s passport and assumed his name. 

Imrie empathetically added that ”poor Marcella, meanwhile in Nice…” didn’t know ”where her darling children were. It was desperate for her.” When tragedy struck, the boys survived in the last lifeboat, but Michael drowned in the disaster.

Will the boys be reunited with their mother again? Discover the epic conclusion in this emotional saga of love and loss. 

On Researching the Orphans of the Storm

Their engaging discussion detailed pain-staking research but also fascinating findings. Imrie and Morgan ploughed through hundreds of names in the Nice archives before finding the Navratils. Imrie even shouted ”bingo!” when she finally came across it in the quiet library. Remarkably they both had relatives on board the ship, and they’d even escaped in the same lifeboat. What are the chances? 

A limited number of signed Orphans of the Storm editions are available from Medina Bookshop. Order now while stocks last by calling the shop on 01983 300044 or emailing us at