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Titanic, First Accounts

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  270 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Fascinating firsthand accounts of the Titanic--in a deluxe package with gorgeous graphic cover art.
Historic firsthand accounts and testimonies by survivors and eye- witnesses including Lawrence Beesley, Margaret Brown, Archibald Gracie, Carlos F. Hurd and many more.
Paperback, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, 375 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Penguin Classics (first published February 1st 2012)
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Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
TITANIC First Accounts is filled with amazing acts of bravery and conflicting accounts of what actually happened on the disastrous night of April 15, 1912.

Was music playing or not? Did the ship break in two? Were there shootings?

"Many misunderstandings arose in the public mind because of the ignorance of the size of the ship and inability to understand that the same conditions did not prevail at every point and that the same scenes were not witnessed by every one of us."

"Consideration must

Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
My interest and obsession with the "Titanic" began at a very early age and still I am fascinated with every little tidbit I discover! I own many books on the "Titanic", most are from the 1997 movie, but this is the first book I have read that gives actual stories from survivors. This book contains an overwhelming amount of information and I found myself rereading the same passages frequently to try to digest it all. I think maybe I was trying to get through it too fast and it is meant to be savo ...more
Adrienne Dillard
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Amazing, of course.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
It is interesting to read the first hand accounts, but longest part of the book, Archibald Gracie's The Truth About the Titanic, was difficult to read and largely boring. It was due to this piece of the book that I took a year to read it. Putting it down for more than a day or two necessitated having to go back and re-read previous parts and re-orient myself again. The editors excuse Gracie's piece as requiring close reading and attention to his description of his feelings. That's true enough, a ...more
Paul Pessolano
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Titanic, First Accounts” edited by Tim Maltin, published by Penguin Books.

Category – History/Ships

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. There have been many books written, fiction and non-fiction, concerning this event but few will have the authenticity of this one.

This book contains first hand accounts of that tragic night told by the survivors. It also contains excerpts from the U.S. Senate and British Inquiries into the sinking, the actions that the Carpathia took
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book wouldn't make a good movie (not that a good book would necessarily translate to a good movie). It's too dry and factual by a long-shot to work on the screen. But there's something about reading people's experiences in their own words that makes this book special nonetheless. That the people left the boats so calmly, that there was little rush and no pandemonium as people got on the lifeboats, that people doubted the ship would sink till the very end, it's all remarkable. I can only ima ...more
Benj. Imker
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Don't get me wrong. This was an interesting read. But, it wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be. I thought I would find some sort of secret by reading the first accounts -- something that others had overlooked. An antecdote or detail that would let me view this tragedy in another light. My expectations, in that regards, were admittedly too high. Still, there were stories I hadn't heard, and the account of the men who survived by climbing on top of the capsized lifeboat is perhaps the mos ...more
Jun 25, 2012 is currently reading it
Very good book, but oh so depressing. I have seen alot of documentaries on the Titanic, but this book just really thrusts you right into the tragic events of that night. I feel like I am experiencing it on a whole new level and it is so sad - damn near every page makes me want to cry for those people. Alot of the stories I had heard about the sinking actually weren't true, kind of eye-opening. I also never knew the extent to which people CHOSE to go down with the ship, giving up their spot on a ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating collection of first accounts of the Titanic disaster. I was interested to understand what it was like for an individual, and I was really struck by the individual responses. For example, one man tried to pull himself from the water onto a lifeboat, and the occupants would not let him aboard fearing that it would cause the boat to capsize. His response was to tell the people in the boat "God bless and good luck" -- a story corroborated by multiple witnesses. The compilation includes a ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-pile
I really enjoyed this as a history junkie and someone who has always been fascinated by the Titanic. I loved reading what people experienced on the ship in their own words. I rated it 3 stars because the set up of the book was a little odd and patchy. It also repeated whole sentences and ideas a lot which after 2 times could be bothering. Overall would suggest this to anyone who is interested in the Titanic!
Sean Chick
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good collection of first hand accounts, although it is mostly Gracie's "The Truth About Titanic."
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am reading Titanic First Accounts. It has the survivors telling their experience on the Titanic as it sank. It takes place on board the Titanic. And at other places like the U.S. Inquiry in Pennsylvania.It has most or maybe all of the survivors telling their story on that fateful night the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. It is non-fiction because it is real people talking about what happened.

I give it 5 stars because the imagery is great and it makes you feel like you’re the
Linda Hopf
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
The Titanic tragedy - what happened, why it happened, who survived & why... I have always been intrigued. I have been to exhibits, watched movies/documentaries & done research. This book gives an account of the details gathered at the various inquests & from survivors. For someone really interested in this topic it is a "one stop" collection of first-hand testimonies. I can tell that James Cameron probably studied these details while researching his movie, there were several things m ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a fascinating read! If you have any interest in the Titanic disaster, this book of actual survivor accounts, recorded in both the American and British official inquiries and newspaper interviews, is simply a must read. The diversity of the accounts as well as the repeated testimony from different people viewing the same events is amazing reflection of human perception and behavioral observation. The middle starts to sound the same but stick to it because it pays off later when artic ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-general
It was an interesting read, gaining the perspective of the various survivors (passengers and crew) of the disaster that occurred to the Titanic. But it also left me wanting more, to find out more about these passengers. At times it was somewhat antiseptic, although there were also moments that were poignant and touching. I think I bought the book with certain anticipations. Still, it was a worthwhile read and I would recommend as it might encourage the reader to research more information on the ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
An amazing work of research. It is true that at times is repetitive, but that's natural and can hardly be avoided since of course these are different points of views of one single event. As a reference for investigation is a great source. It is also a monument to the tragedy and the lives lost. The accounts presented range from heroic deeds to misbehaviors and on to facts one may not have known, such as the rescue, the return to port and the days right afterwards. This historical facts are sure ...more
Nov 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
A bit too technical for me. It pretty much listed every single person and what life boat they were in, as well as listing all the people that didn't survive. Or most of them. They said that the 3rd class passengers couldn't all be accounted for. What I found most interesting was the listing of the stow-aways and people that jumped in after the boat was being lowered as well as the minorities that survived. This book is pretty much all about the ship sinking and the people that witnessed it. Duh, ...more
Janet Mueller
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read any book worth reading on the the subject of the Titanic. I own every volume (worth having) in my library. I began an interest in the history of this doomed ship as a young child & it has continued into my 60's.

This book is a wonderful first hand account of eyewitnesses to the disaster, in the icy North Atlantic, on April 15th 1912. It contains written or dictated stories of survivors on the Titanic before, during & after the sinking of this luxury ship on it's maiden voyage
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very very powerful. There were many times that shivers were sent down my spine as I was reading, simply because I have such a hard time imagining what the survivors must have gone through. I have never read any first hand accounts on the Titanic before, despite reading a ton of other information on the indecent. I am super glad that I picked up this book.

My only issue was when the author gets letters from other people, instead of keeping it in the first tense I it switches to he or she, which k
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Heartrending firsthand accounts of the largest oceanic catastrophe in history. More than 100 years has not lessened the emotional impact of the tragic loss of life. A compilation of previously published accounts, focusing on the immediate aftermath within minutes, hours, days and weeks of the sinking of the "unsinkable" vessel on its maiden voyage. I would still very much like to read accounts of the survivors and their families, and how this event changed the trajectory of their lives for years ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Titanic Fanatic? I haven't the proper words to say how much I recommend this book!!!! This book compacts transcripts from both the American and British Inquests of the survivors into a readable account. All original testimonies. If the disaster is in your head as a romantic historical fantasy like the James Cameron movie, think again. Be prepared to be hit between the eyes and see it for what it was. Be prepared to board this ship and experience the reality of it. Be prepared to LIVE it.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
The first few stories were OK, but after that things got repetitive really quickly, as you might imagine when interviewing people about the same event. Some editing would have been good, I don't really care to read the list of exactly who was on each boat. Some of the stories are compelling, but some are just rote recitation of who got into which boat. I'd skim this book for the good stuff. Maybe borrow it from the library.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I love anything Titanic related, and I picked this up when I knew I had a good few hours to devote to it.

How fascinating to read real-life accounts of the disaster, and the misinformation and misunderstandings that occurred! Many accounts were repetitive but it was incredibly interesting to read all the same.
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, titanic
This book was very interesting; however it had A LOT of information. At times it was overwhelming, which is why it took me so long to read. As a Titanic history fanatic though I'm glad I read it. It truly gave me a better understanding of what actually happened from people who actually survived it!
Carol Irvin
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always been intrigued about the Titanic and this book is the best I have ever read. It it is ironic that I completed reading this novel on April 14, the 103rd anniversary of when the Titanic hit the deadly iceberg. I want to thank my friend Jan for recommending this to me. The 1st person's accounts of the deadly accident makes you feel you were there. 1,700 souls lost :(
Ashley H
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
It was really interesting to read about the different passengers' viewpoints on the whole experience, definitely different from other Titanic books I've read which were more focused on the science and technology behind the building of and sinking of the ship. Compelling read that's dry in very few places. In some ways it makes you feel as though you were there with them in the ship.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting compilation of newspaper articles, transcripts, books etc. from survivors of this tragedy. The ways that the events were reported juxtaposed with today's coverage of horrific world events are note-worthy. There were parts of the story, even with the myriad books/movies/documentaries produced on the subject over the last 100 years, that were new to me.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An interesting book for Titanic enthusiast. To read the accounts from Archibald Gracie, Lawrence Beesley, Charles Lightoller, and others was extremely enlightening. The book skimmed over the Inquiries, but otherwise a great read for people interested in details of the disaster.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It's sad that in the back of the book it shows the name of some of the first and second class passengers of that time who were not survivors. It is only a partial list. The information and history in this book is incredible. Definitely worth reading.
Thomas D. Towle
Interesting Review of this Tragic Event

Spellbinding eyewitness accounts by Titanic survivors puts this tragedy in context compared to the many accounts we've all become accustomed to on the subject of the sinking of Titanic.
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