THE LOSS OF THE TITANIC, ITS STORY AND ITS LESSONS
By Lawrence Beesley
Earliest Survivor Account WHITE STAR LINE Olympic
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING
Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912. Published, June, 1912.
8vo / Hardcover / 301 pp. / Illustrated / Frontis / Gilt titles / Wear, spots to boards / Owner's plate, "Library of Jerome Rowley George no. 598" / Foxing to frontis, tissue / Slightly shaky at front /
S C A R C E - the earliest published book by a survivor about the SS Titanic disaster. MUST HAVE for any Titanic enthusiast.
Contents: Construction and Preparations for the First Voyage, From Southampton to the Night of the Collision, The Collision and Embarkation in Lifeboats, The Rescue, The Sinking of the Titanic seen from her deck; The Carpathia's Return to New York; The Lessons Taught by the Loss of the Titanic, Some Impressions.
Lawrence Beesley (December 31, 1877 – February 14, 1967) was an English teacher, journalist and author who was a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. He was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.
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.
Beginning as a schoolmaster at Wirksworth Grammar School, he moved to Dulwich College, where he was a science master. In 1957 he was still teaching as Principal of the Northwood School of Coaching, Northwood, Middlesex.
One of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912, Beesley wrote a successful book about his experience, The Loss of the SS Titanic (June, 1912), published just nine weeks after the disaster. He saw two second class women who tried to get on a lifeboat, who were told to go back to their own deck, that their lifeboats were waiting there.
During the filming of A Night to Remember (1958), Beesley famously gatecrashed the set during the sinking scene, hoping to ‘go down with the ship’ a second time. But he was spotted by the director, Roy Ward Baker, who vetoed this unscheduled appearance, due to actors' union rules.
The RMS Titanic was an Olympic-class passenger liner owned by British shipping company White Star Line and built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. At the time of her construction, she was the largest passenger steamship in the world.
Shortly before midnight on 14 April 1912, four days into the ship's maiden voyage, Titanic hit an iceberg and sank two hours and forty minutes later, early on 15 April 1912. The sinking resulted in the deaths of 1,517 of the 2,223 people on board, making it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. The high casualty rate was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone aboard. The ship had a total lifeboat capacity of 1,178 people, although her maximum capacity was 3,547. A disproportionate number of men died due to the women-and-children-first protocol that was followed.
The Titanic was designed by some of the most experienced engineers, and used some of the most advanced technology available at the time. It was popularly believed to have been unsinkable. It was a great shock to many that, despite the extensive safety features, the Titanic sank. The frenzy on the part of the media about Titanic's famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes to maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have contributed to the continuing interest in, and notoriety of, the Titanic.