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The Loss of the S.S. Titanic (Titanic Landmark Series)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  464 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Lawrence Beesley was one of the luckiest men on the Titanic. Although the word had been given, “women and children first,” he was nevertheless ordered into a lifeboat to make up the numbers. At the end of that fateful night he stepped, dry and physically unharmed, onto the deck of the rescuing ship Carpathia. We are also fortunate in that, as a science teacher, Beesley was ...more
ebook, EPUB Edition
Published August 9th 2012 by Tales End Press (first published 1912)
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Benjamin Sobieck
Mar 20, 2012 Benjamin Sobieck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye-opening insights into one of the worst tragedies in history. It's incredible to me how clueless the passengers were even as they loaded into lifeboats. The myth of the ship's invincibility was so strong, it took hearing the screams of people dying in the water for many to realize something had gone seriously wrong.

For as many books that have been written about the Titanic, nothing can come close to a first-hand account written months after the incident. Read this for a true historical conte
Think you know all about the sinking of the Titanic? Read the first 50 pages of this short book and you'll learn first-hand details that you didn't know. The second half wasn't as interesting to me, but the first half is the author's vivid account, full of details I'd never heard. He observed that the ship listed very slightly to port while they were underway and speculated from later reports that the coal may have been loaded too much on the port side. This has no bearing on the sinking itself, ...more
Hannah A
May 09, 2012 Hannah A rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by a Titanic survivor and published two months after the sinking of the world’s most famous ship, the telling of the tragedy was nearly unpublished. Lawrence Beesley, a science teacher from England questioned whether it was better for him to leave the unknown details out of the story. However, his publishers eventually convinced him to publish the book in hopes to “calm the public opinion.” Beesley also felt that telling the events was his duty: "as survivors of the disaster, owe to thos ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, titanic
This book, written by a Titanic survivor and published only two months after the tragedy, nearly didn't get published. Lawrence Beesley, a science teacher from England and recently widowed, questioned whether it was advisable to make record of the incidents connected with the sinking and best to forget the details all together. What changed Beesley and his publisher's minds - the hope that by recording the truth of what happened would "calm the public opinion". Another larger reason was what Bee ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my Kindle books, read in spurts over the past year and a half. A must-read for any Titanic aficionados. Beesley's first-hand account of the sinking is fascinating, and even more so his account of the night spent in the lifeboats, adrift on the Atlantic. Some of the conclusions he drew at the end were flawed (for example, he was adamant that the ship did not break in half) but many of the changes he called for did go into effect soon after the sinking. I recommend this wholeheartedly.
Mar 20, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a remarkable first hand report of what a survivor saw and felt during and after the sinking of the Titanic. Lawrence Beesley was a Science teacher on his first ocean voyage. His observations are unique and especially vivid , having written this book about 2 months after the disaster. His remberances of conversations with other passengers and other events on board are interesting and fresh. I could picture myself on board with him. The later part of the book covers Beesley's thoughts abou ...more
May 07, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written less than a year after Titanic sank, second class passenger Lawrence Beesley explains the myths and legends of what really happened on the Titanic, wrt passengers and confusion and chaos. I found him absolutely charming (save the comment about the Chinamen under the seats -- near exact words) and utterly readable.

Beesley's other goal, besides setting the record straight, is to make sure that the American and British governments make sure the Titanic disaster doesn't repeat. He conducts
Diana H.
Nov 15, 2013 Diana H. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The author of this book did not spend time researching the sinking of the Titanic, he was actually a survivor.

Written shortly after the event, the author presents a compelling story of the courage shown by the passengers and crew of the ship. He tells the story from his point of view and is clear to say what he knew to be fact and what he speculated about.

Much of what people assume as fact about the events of that night have come from Hollywood (and we all know that the only they what to do is s
Jan 02, 2009 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
First published in 1912, just two short months after the sinking of the TITANIC, this hauntingly immediate account opens with Lawrence Beesley's story of arriving onshore and soon after walking through the doors of Messrs. Houghton and Mifflin to tell his tale. THE LOSS OF THE S.S. TITANIC represents Beesley's attempt not just to record the events of the sinking but to set the record straight. In so doing, he captures both the majesty and the tragedy of this legendary voyage -- the view from th ...more
May 01, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an account of the sinking of Titanic written by one of the survivors only two months after the event. For that reason alone, it's fascinating. But Beesley also gives us a snapshot of the 1912 mindset: where in the 21st century, most of us would seek therapy after such trauma, Beesley remarks that there is no sense dwelling on tragedy, and that it's best to put the whole thing out of our minds. In fact, Beesley says the only reason he's writing the book is to make sure that necessary chan ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Tarissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read many non-fiction books about the Titanic. But this is the first survivor story that I've actually read. It is perfect! Lawrence Beesley's telling of the Titanic's sinking is quite in depth, as he is quite acquainted with the knowledge he shared in his book, but at the same time, it is set forth in an easily understood fashion.

He tells of the people he interacted with on board --- the people he met again, rescued on the Carpathia -- and the people that he did not meet again.

I immensely
Frances Levy
This is Lawrence Beesley's memoir of the voyage and the sinking. He was there. And the book is surprisingly well written. Because of the subject, it seems awkward to say I liked the book, but I did. And if I hadn't liked it, too bad. What're you going to say, "I didn't like your life"?
David Searle
Nice to have the perspective from someone who survived the disaster, rather than a historian describing the events. The only other survivor's book I have read is Eva Hart's and that is much more a history of her life rather than what happened on the night.

It is not the easiest book to read as the language is dated and sometimes unnecessarily complex. However the book does clearly tell us what actually happened on the night, rather than what was made up to create dramatic effect in the papers of
Jan 01, 2013 Cait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Loss of the SS Titanic is a first hand account of the Titanic's sinking by second class survivor Lawrence Beesley. The book is an intriguing read, not only because of its status as a primary source, but also because the perspective of a second class passenger is rather unique- this group goes rather ignored compared to the intrigues of the wealthy first class passengers and tragedy of the third class passenger. Although some of the language is rather antiquated, the book is a quick read, esp ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Wendolyn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendolyn by: Another book
continued from below:

Another link on the website; "At the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission yesterday, Mr L. Beesley, described as a practitioner of Christian Science, claimed compensation in respect of the requisitioning by the War Office of rooms at Pembroke House, Oxford Street, in May 1917, in consequence of which he had to move to other rooms in Cavendish Street."
I think Christian Herman posted about him.
But he was a widower w/ a young
Jan 05, 2016 Cátia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This was a really eye opening book specially when you have a completely different idea of what the sinking of the Titanic realy was.
The curiousity of the sinking of the Titanic comes to me every time i watch the movie Titanic of 1997 with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as protagonists, or by watching a documentary about the discovery of the wreckage under the sea and that's when i found out about this book.
The reality of it is almost unthinkable, to know what really happened and that what we
Keith Blair
I picked this up only knowing it was written by a survivor. The first 50-60% of the book was interesting to read about how things were on the boat, how people were passing their time, how people were reacting up to the point of getting on the Carpathia and back to safety. The remaining section of the book gets into the what-ifs and discussions about improvements which should be made going forward. At the time this book was written I'm sure that was relevant information. These days, not so much. ...more
Interesting read more details than the movie. Liked reading it.
Abhishek Tyagi
Feb 26, 2014 Abhishek Tyagi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: h
awesome book with real eye opening truths.
This was an OK book. I liked the fact that it was told by someone who was actually on the boat. What I didn’t like was his assessment as to what caused the sinking, who was responsible and what should be done. The book didn’t really say who he was or what he did. I was curious to know how he was so versed on submarine bells, radio, ship construction etc. Thankfully this was a short book otherwise I would have been bored with it. It truly had some good information but I think the focus could have ...more
Rob Barron
Sep 02, 2012 Rob Barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly remarkable book written as it was by one who walked the decks of Titanic, saw the iceberg, shivered in a lifeboat and finished his journey on the Carpathia.

This book was written in the months after the disaster but he kept a diary written right as it all happened so everything is very immediate. Reading this is the closest you will come to living out the entire disaster itself. I thoroughly recommend it to Titanic buffs and those with even just a fleeting interest in this tragic leviath
Jun 06, 2012 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent account by a man who survived the sinking of the Titanic. I appreciate real people- ones that dare to tell the truth and set the record straight- "There was no indication of panic or hysteria; no cries of fear, and no running to and fro." Very few realized the ship would sink until the final moments ("there hadn't been signs of danger"), so there wasn't much time for actual fear. Tragic. Hard to believe how easily this could have been avoided.
Apr 21, 2012 Peebee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and for the Seasonal Reading Challenge, I had to read a book about a ship wreck. I had another book picked out, but saw this one, and I'm glad I picked it out. Nothing substitutes for a first-hand account of the tragedy, and Beesley's tale is measured and thoughtful, concluding with recommendations to prevent a similar tragedy from recurring. It's a quick but fascinating read.
David Schroeder
May 17, 2012 David Schroeder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a silent tribute to the Titanic crew and passengers around the 100th anniversary of the April 15, 1912 sinking. This was a first person account from a member of the crew. The root cause to the sinking - recklessness, vanity and inadequate regulations - only increases the human drama. The story shows public outcry at times properly motivates the government and corporations to behave more responsibly.
Jul 08, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in the Titanic and her demise I would recommend this book. Mr.Beesley, as a survivor from the ship gave a new viewpoint to what I had previously read or watched. It was a nice, easy red that kept my attention and as someone who had not written a story before this book he did a very good job in not bouncing all around.
very wordy and intellectual, so it can be hard to get through. the best part of the book is when he was standing on deck with the rest of the passengers wondering what was going on. no one thought it was too serious. then a flare is shot off and the light from the flare lights up everyone's faces, which are all horror striken.
Jan 15, 2014 Kalyne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing! I like the fact it was written only two months after the sinking.
Apr 25, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What better accounting of the most famous disasters of the 20th century than to have a literate and observant survivor tell his story--with all the veritable details? I definitely got a sense of what it was like to be on board the SS Titanic--before, during, and after its demise.
Mar 30, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There has been a lot of Titanic going around lately, so I decided to read about it. It was interesting to see the differences in what I thought I knew about Titanic with what actually occurred. I enjoyed the first hand account versus a researcher.
Mary Hollister
Jan 30, 2013 Mary Hollister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's nice to read an account of this disaster from an actual survivor and to hear what really happened. It helps explain some things and the author gives his recommendations on how he thinks another disaster like this could be prevented.
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Lawrence Beesley was an English teacher, journalist and author who was a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Beesley was educated at Derby School, where he was a scholar, and afterwards at Caius College, Cambridge, again as a scholar. He took a First Class degree in the Natural Science tripos in 1903.

More about Lawrence Beesley...

Other Books in the Series

Titanic Landmark Series (1 books)
  • Story of the Wreck of the Titanic

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