Book Review - The Loss of the Steamship Titanic - 1912

Title Page of The Loss of the SS Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons by Lawrence Beesley, One of the Survivors, Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912.

Title Page of The Loss of the SS Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons by Lawrence Beesley, One of the Survivors, Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912. GGA Image ID # 1629687d3f

The Loss of the Steamship Titanic. By Lawrence Beesley.
Size, 5 by 7% inches. Pages, 301. Illustrations, 5. Boston and New York, 1912: Houghton & Mifflin Company. Price, $1.20 net.

Even though practically every detail regarding the loss of the Titanic has been published and republished in the daily press at the time of the accident, many will appreciate the opportunity to obtain a carefully revised, authoritative statement from a cool-headed witness of the disaster.

As this account was not written until the investigation of the disaster had been made in Washington, bringing out practically all of the available information that could be obtained, it can be looked upon as the most correct history of the disaster.

The story begins with the construction and preparations for the first voyage of the vessel; the departure from Southampton and an account of the voyage up to the night of the collision; then the collision and embarkation in lifeboats and the sinking of the Titanic, as seen from a lifeboat, are fully described from the witness's point of view, which is supplemented by an account of the sinking of the Titantic, as seen by one of the survivors from her deck; then follows an account of the rescue and return to New York on board the Carpathia.

The final chapters discuss the lessons taught by the loss of the Titanic and some personal impressions of the disaster. Most of the lessons which Mr. Beesley points out with special emphasis are common knowledge, and are fully realized by everyone who has read anything about the disaster. Some of them, however, should be submitted to the probe of competent marine experts before any attempt is made to follow out the suggested remedics.

International Marine Engineering, August 1912 p. 343

The ‘‘Titanic” Book -
Everywhere one goes this summer one sees the book entitled “The Loss of the S. S. ‘Titanic,’” by Lawrence Beesley, published by the Houghton-Mifflin Co.; $1.20 net.

The book may not command as careful attention now as in the years to come, when it will be regarded as a matter of history recorded by an eye-witness, but the fact of Mr. Beesley having been a passenger who took cool and careful note of the events attending the disaster, makes his story valuable as well as enjoyable.

Perhaps his “impressions” and “lessons of the disaster” will be revised if another edition is demanded, and they probably might be to advantage by a more practical navigator or shipbuilder, but the book, written while the event was fresh in the minds of all concerned, is a unique contribution to literature of a type that is notable while current and quotable for discussion.

It is illustrated with pictures and plans of the “Titanic” and a picture of the “Carpathia” and is a standard for any library.

-- The Nautical Gazette, 28 August 1912, p. 12

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