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Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs of Violet Jessop, Stewardess
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Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs of Violet Jessop, Stewardess

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  780 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
A bestseller both in the U.S. and U.K. now available in paperback. This biography succeeds due to its unique authenticity and wrenching firsthand account of that unforgettable tragedy. Jessop served as a stewardess for first-class passengers aboard the TITANIC, and, four years later, was a nurse on the ill-fated hospital ship BRITANNIC when it struck a mine and sank to the ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published March 25th 1999 by The History Press Ltd (first published October 25th 1997)
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Oct 15, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I was a little skeptical when first approaching this book, because seeing as it was republished in '97 the whole Leonardo Dicaprio Titanic thing was in full swing, so I was thinking that possibly the producers would manipulate the memoir to serve as a promotional tool (I know, my mind works in strange ways).

Thankfully I was wrong. The memoir barely concerns itself with the Titanic (as you read it, you quickly discover you're reading about Violet Jessop's life at sea, not the great unsinkable), d
Aug 16, 2008 Deanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
The most amazing thing about this story is Violet Jessop, not only was she on board the Titanic sank but she was also on the Britannic 4 years later as a nurse. She was also on the third ship the Olympic when it collided with another ship.
She sounds like a fascinating woman, who after a long hard life had a great deal of experience.
Have to admit though if I was about to go on a cruise I'd make sure she wasn't on board.
Nov 30, 2009 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this biography, but I knew before I read it that the memoirs were of her whole life, not just of the four days she worked on the Titanic. I can understand that promoting this book as if it is all about the Titanic would leave some people disappointed.

Violet Jessop was cursed to live an interesting life.
Feb 26, 2013 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank God. Thank God she survived not one, not two, but three ship wrecks. When I listen to her describe the sinking of the Titanic while she watched from a boat bobbing in the water next to it, it gives me a whole different perspective than just what writers write about it. She also introduces you to her people on board these ships and you can finally connect with the people who LIVED on these ships. These ships were their homes.
But the description of the sinking of the Britannic is what is ho
Sep 16, 2015 Francine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Titanic Survivor is a memoire written by Miss Violet Jessop who was on the Titanic that fateful night it hit an iceberg. Miss Jessop was employed by White Star Line as a victualizing stewardess for 1st class passengers. In other words she took care of the needs, in particular food and drink needs, of the rich and famous. In order to support her ill mother and siblings, Violet went to sea at a very young age and retired as a senior citizen. She was a beautiful woman as we see from her photos. She ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Kay rated it really liked it
Seriously, how many times can you be on a ship that sinks? This is the diary of a woman who was a ship stewardess and gives an interesting look at the world at that time. One bit that fascinated me was that she learned when the Titanic sank how much she missed her toothbrush after they were rescued. The next time she was on a sinking ship, she got her toothbrush before she went to the lifeboats. Isn't that so typical of's the little details that seem to get you.
Lisa Eirene
Violet was born in 1887 in Argentina. Her parents were Irish immigrants and her mother had many many children (most did not survive) and Violet became a nursemaid, housemaid, basically a surrogate mother to her siblings. The book is a memoir about her amazing life. After her father dies and the families moves back to England, she realizes she needs to help support the family and she becomes a stewardess aboard ships. She spent 40 years on the ocean as a stewardess and she was so well-loved by th ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Random discount book I picked up that had the most amazing true story about a woman who worked on (and survived) all 3 great ocean liners. Surprisingly, the story remains intriguing even after her years of service on the ships. Loved the eerie ending.
It was an interesting opportunity to read about the life of an ocean liner stewardess back in the first part of the 1900's. And the title is not indicative of the book, because Violet's experiences surviving the Titanic (which I read avidly, wanting all the James Cameron-esque detail I could gather) was really just a passing incident. Her experience surviving the Brittanic was much more dramatic. But overall I was left wanting more. More details, more depth or introspection, more emotion, more a ...more
Judy Wallace
Jul 09, 2015 Judy Wallace rated it really liked it
Violet Jessop lived a fascinating life being a stewardess on a variety of passenger ships. She was on the Titantic and Britannic and still continued loving and working on ocean liners. She has great story to tell. Having the additional commentary from John Maxtone-Graham, a marine historian and author, surely helped with explanations and additional information about ships of the time.
Ms. Jessop must have been a force while she worked in the victualing department, as it was called at the time, f
Sep 01, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violet Jessop decided at an early age to follow her mother's footsteps and become a stewardess on passenger liners and during the course of her long career from 1908-1950 she was on all three of the major ships built by the White Star Line including Olympic, Titanic and Britannic and was on board both Titanic and Britannic when they sank.
This book is told second hand by stories and writing left behind by Jessop and while some parts are disjointed it is an interesting look at life aboard the cr
Sarah's Book Nook
Sep 13, 2015 Sarah's Book Nook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: titanic
My Book Blog .....

In the past I have often had an issue with a book presenting itself as one thing, then becoming something entirely else. This is one case where I am utterly okay with that scenario. I was expecting another recounting solely of Titanic sinking, and was much looking forward to it. Pretty much all the accounts we have of survivors come from passengers, yet here finally was an account of the sinking from someone who worked on the ship. Yet,
Feb 22, 2015 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bought in a second hand bookstore that was sadly closing down, this book immediately caught my eye as I walked in. It was in the ship section of the store, which just so happened to be in the front of the store or else I wouldn't have seen it. I admit to finding my favorite sections first in stores, never even looking at things like cars, ships etc because the other sections seem more important. This was a good deviation from habit!

If you're looking for a book on surviving the Titanic, then look
Nov 23, 2012 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "Titanic Survivor" provided a rare glimpse into the Titanic's sinking through the eyes of one lucky survivor, Violet Jessop. I was surprised to learn that not only was Violet Jessop a "Titanic Survivor," but she also survived the sinking of the Britannia a few years later. Until this book, I thought the famed 'Unsinkable' Molly Brown was the only woman to claim that honor. Violet's memoirs were written not long after Titanic, but were rejected by publishing houses! What fools! Found after he ...more
Luís Castilho
Violet Jessop was an ocean liner stewardess and nurse who achieved wordwide fame by surviving the disastrous sinkings of both the RMS Titanic and the HMHS Britannic in 1912 and 1916 respectively, as well as RMS Olympic collision on October 20, 1910. The book Titanic Survivor contains some passages of Violet Jessop memoir written in 1934, originally named Neptune's Greenroom. Violet Jessop life story is indeed a mesmerizing one and makes up for an amazing tale of endurance and survival. In additi ...more
Nov 19, 2015 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
After reading this book it's impossible to say that Violet Jessop led a boring life. These memoirs were fascinating to read, from Violet's childhood through to her employment as a stewardess, her time aboard the doomed Titanic, her role as a nurse during WW1 and her encounters with so many different and brilliantly bizarre people as her return to work as a stewardess took her around the world. Violet tells her story with wonderful wit and insight.

Why have I only given the book 4 stars and not 5
KA N Newton
Mar 19, 2013 KA N Newton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought as a tree book new off Amazon - it had a blueish cover, later finding it at half price used on ebay.

I enjoyed the book so the extra cost was not wasted.

Violet Jessop was a Titanic Survivor' and the book includes an exciting description of the sinking though this is only a small part of the book other parts of Violet Jessop's life were interesting.

Her childhood in Argentina was affected by illness and the illnesses of other siblings. Her later years were spent at a convent school in Kent
Jan 25, 2015 Kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My edition of this book (2007 History Press) was riddled with spelling errors which greatly drew away from the memoirs. Also, the title is misleading we are led to believe that this book is all about Jessop's work on the Titanic book-ended by her life yet the focus on The Titanic is merely 1 or 2 chapters and she doesn't even go in to much detail.
A rather disappointing book which I wouldn't recommend nor will I read it again.
Jan 28, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disaster, memoir
Very scary memoir of a cruise-ship stewardess who survived the sinking of the Titanic, and then went on to -- barely -- survive the sinking of the Britannic. This features an enjoyable, very British kind of understatement and stuffiness. Should prove to be a great deterrent for starry-eyed young women wanting to work on a passenger liner.
Jun 07, 2014 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Fascinating story of a young Irish woman's life, including her experiences on the Titanic and Britannic. She conveys a real sense of both disasters, particularly the second one while at the same time not making them her primary focus. Instead, it is the story of her childhood in Argentina and her life as a stewardess aboard several different cruise ships that is so compelling.
Cathy Les
Disappointed. The narrative was so choppy and she didn't give details about her experiences in the Titanic sinking or as a VAD. She was a bit better in her description of the Britannic sinking. And the "explanations" by the editor were nearly all annoying - put it in a footnote or your own chapter please.
Feb 21, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A very interesting memoir on being a ship steward in the early 1900s. Her information on the Titanic disaster and the Britannic disaster is enlightening. Also the chapter where she was a nurse during World War 1 was very informative. A must read for people interested in the Titanic disaster.
Laura Lee
Really it's 3 1/2. Violet Jessop was a stewardness on the Titanic's first and last voyage. She only takes one chapter for that event, but you won't be disappointed. These are Miss Jessop's memoirs, tho it seems she left a lot out, like a failed marriage and she is very discret about the love of her life. She was born in Argentina which she describes beautifully. Her parents were emigrants. After her beloved father dies the family moves to England. From there Violet goes into service on luxury li ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had a difficult time getting into this book, but was determined to finish and glad I did - the long awaited parts about Violet's experience during the Titanic and the Britannic disasters were actually just a small part of the saga of her life and came late in the story. Since most of her time as a steward on the big ships was during the Victorian era, much of the writing (and even the editor's comments) were in the language of the time, which was sometimes heavy. It was easy to get bogged down o ...more
Jul 24, 2015 Valerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not so much about surviving the titanic and the britanica but more about her life as a stewardess. Only a couple short chapters dedicated to the two sinking ships
May 29, 2014 Ashwise rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this as a kid and I really enjoyed it! It was cool reading about her life as a stewardess and how she was on the Titanic, Olmypic, and the Britannic.
Thomas West
Four years from Titanic April 1912. A nurse aboard the hospital ship, Britannic when it struck a mine and sank in the Aegean Sea.
James Garrett
A good perspective of being a ship's steward in early 1900's and her experience from two different passenger liner sinkings.
Jul 13, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biographies
This book was so much more than I thought it was going to be! I thought the primary focus was the fact that she had survived two huge shipwrecks, but it's really a biography. It starts with her childhood in Argentina and goes through a lot of her adulthood working as a stewardess for various ships. The shipwrecks are only part of the story. The author pulled together her memoirs and made historical and clarifying additions, always in a different font, so you know what it him and what is her. The ...more
Mar 06, 2016 Zoe rated it it was ok
I registered a book at!

Very misleading. I appreciate the book may sell more if it's about a Titanic Survivor. I didn't like the editing or intervention (rewriting) by Graham. I think an unedited version of Violet Jessop's journals would have worked better for me
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I wonder if she was ever banned from sailing on another boat? 4 11 Apr 26, 2013 12:24AM  
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