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The Sinking of the Titanic (Paperback)

Eyewitness Accounts from Survivors

Maritime > Titanic Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: 20th Century P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Social History

By Jay Henry Mowbray, Edited by Bruce Beveridge, Edited by Dr Stephen Haddelsey
Greenhill Books
Pages: 352
Illustrations: More than 100 illustrations
ISBN: 9781784388676
Published: 6th March 2023

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“I ran out on the deck and then I could see ice. It was a veritable sea of ice and the boat was rocking over it. I should say that parts of the iceberg were eighty feet high, but it had been broken into sections, probably by our ship.”

“There fell on the ear the most appalling noise that ever human ear listened to — the cries of hundreds of our fellow-beings struggling in the icy-cold water, crying for help with a cry that we knew could not be answered.”

First published in 1912, Jay Henry Mowbray’s Sinking of the Titanic was hugely influential in the aftermath of the maritime disaster, recording the harrowing, first-hand accounts of the survivors - from sailors, to stewards, to passengers – throughout the ordeal, from when the iceberg first hit to when the Carpathia eventually arrived, and honouring those who were lost on that fateful night in 1912. Mowbray’s text even follows the survivors when they make it back to land - a lesser-known, riveting aspect of the tragic saga that deals with the investigation and the hearings that took place in the US and UK in the months that followed.

The swiftness of the publication of Mowbray’s text, the sheer number of first-hand witness accounts therein and the intensity of the chaos and fear that their accounts convey makes for a unique compilation which, together with new notes, maps, images and expert introductory material in this new, updated edition, will fascinate, educate and deeply move contemporary readers as much today as the original publication would have back in 1912.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating and haunting account from eyewitnesses there on that fateful night. I have always been fascinated by the Titanic story since I was a child and I very very happy to be able to read this. We have all heard retellings of what people think happened, but nothing is quite as chilling as reading accounts from people who were actually there.

NetGalley, Taryn Schilling

This book has a lot of great eye witness accounts. I’ve read a lot about the history of the titanic and I’ve seen a lot of the documentaries on its final moments. It’s very intriguing but it’s also very sad to think about all those people that passed away on the ship and around it!! I love the book!!

NetGalley, Kara C

So appreciated reading the original written directly after the tragedy and then the footnotes with updated mostly confirmed information. Rereading about this monumental disaster brought tears to my eyes as I imagined what both those who perished as well as the survivors went through on that fateful night. I continue to feel sorry for Ismay and his descendants having to live with the shame of the inaccurate reports that he was on the first lifeboat. It must have been very difficult for them to try to overcome what was initially reported.
This topic has always interested me, mostly because of the devastating loss of life from a ship touted to be the first unsinkable ship.

NetGalley, Marcia Meakim

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As a person who has a personal connection to the ship. I knew I had to read this and all I can say is wow!

I’ve read plenty of titanic books and this has to be one of my favourites.

NetGalley, Atlanta Colling

A great collection of actual accounts from the time. I've read many Titanic books and there's plenty on what and why it happened but it was interesting to read survivor stories, captured while the incident was fresh in their minds.

NetGalley, Maureen Carney

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I found it really interesting reading the different survivor accounts of the incidents that occurred as the Titanic hit the infamous iceberg, to the lifeboat situation, the whole 'women & children first' ethic.

NetGalley, Nickie Cleaver

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Truly fascinating to read the same exact book the people of the time (1912) were reading. Written only a month after the tragedy, this edition is accompanied by modern day corrections used as footnotes. Terribly sad and gripping. I loved it.

NetGalley, Belle Hart

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A different read on the Titanic disaster. The author has filled the pages with first hand accounts from the survivors and also debunks some of the theories of that night. The accounts are gripping and the courage shown not only by the survivors, but those who chose to sacrifice themselves for others is truly inspirational. This is a great read and one worth reading!

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

This book was originally published in 1912 with witness accounts and details of this failed voyage. It has now been updated with various information over 100 years after the disaster. If you are a fan of reading anything about The Titanic, this is one book you want in your collection.

NetGalley, Jennifer DiCenzo

An interesting and informative read that provided me with some information that I already knew but quite a lot that I didn't know, and, has made me want to look more into it. I have always been fascinated by the Titanic on both a morbid and personal level, Morbid because of the tragedy element and personal as I had a family member upon the doomed ship.
A fantastic read

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

I have always been interested in Titanic and this was a interesting read. Definite recommend.

NetGalley, Krista K

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

An intriguing read for anyone interested in historical accounts of the Titanic’s sinking. While the original may have contained errors and oversights due to its speedy publishing following the accident, this edition acknowledges these in the foreword and adds helpful historical context to the eyewitness accounts featured.

NetGalley, Chloe Keenan-Wilson

This book is definitely a product of its time with all the dramatic descriptions and embellished writing. I like that this newest edition adds many footnotes with extra explanations and some corrections along the way, without changing the source material.
I really enjoyed all the added photos, drawings and paintings at the end too.

NetGalley, Ajla Gobeljic

Fascinating read for anyone who is an interested in the story of Titanic. It feels well researched and was a good read.

NetGalley, Lindsay Adams-Riley

This book describes most of the events on that tragic night of April 14th 1912 when the iceberg struck sinking the unsinkable ship the great Titanic in the early hours of April 15 1912. Its heartbreaking and also terrifying but yet so fascinating to read. I realized that this book was first published on the same year that the Titanic sunk sharing the memories of the survivors. I would really love to buy this book and read it again once this newer version is released.

NetGalley, Ravihansi Wickramasinghe

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I enjoy nearly anything about the Titanic and this was no exception. Lots of "eyewitness accounts" and first hand details. This is a reissue with more added. I gather the original album was published in 1912. A fantastic edition to my Titanic library.

NetGalley, Kathryn Tam

“When the order that every man should take his post, as the vessel was sinking, was sent through the Titanic,” said Hardy, “there were eleven men on duty in the hold. “The twenty others, without the least hesitancy, came hurrying to their posts beside the engines and dynamos. They must have known as well as Captain Smith that the Titanic was going down, for when they arrived in the engine room the water was rising over the floor. There was nothing for them to do but to keep the dynamos running.
“Not one of them moved to quit their posts and not one would have dared to, even they had been willing, in the face of the stern men who had chosen to die there. Yet they could be of no use, for the Titanic was
going down then.
“The water was rising about them when I looked down from a gallery. I saw the little circle of Chief Engineer Bell and sixteen of his men standing there in the water with their lips moving in prayer. I pray that I may never
see the like of it again; it was real heroism.”

This was a heart-breaking collection of accounts from survivors as well as the crew and passengers of the Carpathia which rushed to the aid of the sinking Titanic and covers the time from the collision to the survivors reaching New York and the investigations that followed. I was amazed by the calmness of the men when women and children were prioritized for boarding, the courage of the engine men and electricians who willingly went to their deaths to give the people on board the best chances of surviving and sheer heart-break of families being separated due to the quick sinking and insufficient response to the incident, by other ships in the vicinity to the shortage of lifeboats and trained personnel to man them. There were illustrations which made it clear why passengers were more comfortable staying on the "unsinkable" Titanic than being lowered 70 feet off the side in tiny lifeboats which were not properly equipped, whilst being dressed in flimsy nightwear. Some of the reforms that arose from the hearings post the tragedy, left me in awe that this was not law before

Although at times, it felt slightly repetitive, this was expected as it was a collection of stories from the survivors who naturally had their own versions of what had happened and this was well put together and followed a clear timeline. This updated version opens with expert introductions and includes notes which clarify/correct certain accounts as they appear in the book.

This is well worth a read, even if non-fiction isn't your normal genre to gain insights into one of the worst maritime disasters in history.

NetGalley, Natisha Jagaroo

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This new edition reads as two books in one. The original book came out soon after the initial disaster, filled with quotes from the survivors, many of whom testified to Congress, and was written up in a sensational style as well as reporting what was known - or thought to be known - at the time. This edition is filled to the brim with academic footnotes, letting readers know the correct names of various people who were identified incorrectly at the time, correct outright mistakes, such as reporting the "known fact" of Captain Smith committing suicide, and giving readers all the information that has since come to light about the science of what happened that night.

Given the emotional style of writing and the amount of facts that are proven wrong, the whole book could have easily just been tossed out - however, I like this corrective approach, to let readers both know the true facts and also get a glimpse into what it was like immediately after the sinking and how confused people would have been with so many rumors swirling and all the true facts decades away from being discovered.

NetGalley, Kara Race-Moore

For the lovers of all things Titanic, this updated book by Mowbray is an amazing piece to add to the collection. In this book you will get so many first hand accounts of what happened as well as photographs and facts galore of the sinking of the Titanic. This tragedy has always interested many people of all ages but rarely do we get a book that has so much information already gathered in an easy and approachable way for readers to learn all there is to learn about the sinking. This book is definitely something to add to your bookshelf and have many people see it and read a littler here and there, their interest will be sparked and more will end up learning new things about this great tragedy that had the world so confused and had so many loved ones lost.

NetGalley, Samantha Willis

It has been extremely well researched and for people like me, who love Titanic books, I could not put it down, but it is incredibly detailed.

NetGalley, Tina Avon

This new Pen & Sword edition has a great introduction explaining the origin and the flaws of the book, and extensive footnotes throughout the book explaining the inaccuracies and giving us the information we now know to be true.

A worthy addition to any Titanic enthusiast collection.

NetGalley, Tania Peaecy

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Titanic is one of my favourite films and I’m interested in all things to do with it do this book was a pleasure to read and full of fascinating information….. First published in 1912, Jay Henry Mowbray’s Sinking of the Titanic was hugely influential in the aftermath of the maritime disaster, recording the harrowing, first-hand accounts of the survivors - from sailors, to stewards, to passengers – throughout the ordeal, from when the iceberg first hit to when the Carpathia eventually arrived, and honouring those who were lost on that fateful night in 1912. Mowbray’s text even follows the survivors when they make it back to land - a lesser-known, riveting aspect of the tragic saga that deals with the investigation and the hearings that took place in the US and UK in the months that followed.
The swiftness of the publication of Mowbray’s text, the sheer number of first-hand witness accounts therein and the intensity of the chaos and fear that their accounts convey makes for a unique compilation which, together with new notes, maps, images and expert introductory material in this new, updated edition, will fascinate, educate and deeply move contemporary readers as much today as the original publication would have back in 1912.

NetGalley, Michelle Coates

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love love love anything to do with the Titanic. I think I have read pretty much anything I could get my hands on since 1997. A lot of times even for us mega fans the information could be a bit repetitive, but I found this book to be interesting and provided information I had not previously know. Great for those that love the Titanic and it’s history or are new to learning.

NetGalley, HMARIEN N

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I always have enjoyed reading books about the Titanic and this was wonderfully done. I was invested in reading these accounts. You could really feel like you were there, this did everything that I was hoping for and was a wonderful nonfiction book.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved reading this book. I was completely drawn into the topic and could not stop reading it. I love anything involving the Titanic.

NetGalley, Lynn Beck

‘One grinding crash and the Titanic had received its death blow. Man’s proudest craft crumbled like an eggshell.’

After having difficulty reading this on a kindle version (it just didn’t work because of all the extra notes) I read the physical copy and although a little repetitive, it is the perfect read for any titanic and history reader.

With the amount of titanic books I’ve read it was a nice surprise to learn some new things :)

This book was written around a month after titanic sank, in this updated version, any errors/wrong information has been corrected.

The chapter on the men working below decks was fascinating to read but my god if you don’t shed a tear!

‘I was told that seventeen enginemen who were drowned side by side got down on their knees on the platform of the engine room and prayed until the water surged up to their necks.’

‘And then, with all these, there feel on the ear the most appalling noise that ever human ear listened to - the cries of hundreds of our fellow-beings struggling in the icy-water, crying for help with a cry that we knew could not be answered.’

A must read.

Georgi Lvs Books !!

About Jay Henry Mowbray

Jay Henry Mowbray (1869-1955) was an American journalist and editor and the author on subjects including the life of President Theodore Roosevelt, the history of airships, and the Great War. His Sinking of the Titanic was the first book to be published on the subject. 


About Bruce Beveridge

Bruce Beveridge is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the RMS Titanic, and has written and contributed to a number of books on the subject, including Titanic The Ship Magnificent, Titanic in Photographs, RMS Titanic in 50 Objects and 2004’s Titanic Book of the Year Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy.


About Dr Stephen Haddelsey

Dr Stephen Haddelsey is the award-winning author of several books on the history of exploration. He has also edited a number of contemporary expedition memoirs and diaries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of East Anglia.

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