BEESLEY, Lawrence. The Loss of the S.S. Titanic. The Story and its Lessons. London, William Heinemann, 1912.
8vo. Original blue-purple cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt; pp. xi, 301, , photographic frontispiece with tissue guard, two photographic plates, two folding plates (sections and elevations of the ship); cloth a bit marked and fading to spine, light spoting to text, as usual, a good copy of a scarce work; front free endpaper with strictly contemporary ownership inscription Evelyn Howard Carlisle 15th July 1912 on front fly-leaf, cut out from a newspaper, a Titanic poem In Memoriam by Stephen Phillips, dated April 18th, 1912 in pencil loosely inserted.
First British edition of the first book by an eye-witness of the Titanic disaster written by a survivor who was picked up by the Carpathia in the early morning of the 15th of April, published a mere nine weeks after the sinking, in June 1912. 'He became an important witness to the events of 15 April 1912. Beesley could write, as this short extrect shows: 'Here again was something quite new to us: there was not a breath of wind to blow keenly round us as we stood in the boat, and because of its continued persistence to make us feel cold; it was just a keen, bitter, icy, motionless cold that came from nowhere and yet was there all the time; the stillness of it - if one can imagine “cold” being motionless and still - was what seemed new and strange'. This quality of prose was and is the main source and inspiration for film and fiction works trying to deal with the events.