Do you prefer the Gracie or Beesley book


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Sep 22, 2003
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I Know What Your Saying. I ordered this Amazon Expecting the Non Limited Edition, and all of a sudden this comes in the mail. i suppose its good luck.

Now All I need is a Gracie, Goldsmith, and Hart. Sounds like a lot, though I just got around to Survivor Accounts.
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Jesse, Beesley also turns up with frequency in the 'best books'/'best reads' threads but that's about it. There's only a handful of threads specifically discussing Beesley's book, but they're not quite what you were looking for either as they're about specific aspects rather than general discussion.
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I've checked my Beesleys and I do have that edition of his book. Apart from you not giving a colour for the cover (pale grey green), all the details match. While it's one of 80 copies, no number is given to it - which rather negates the point of a limited edition, doesn't it.

Even though you've already got a copy of Beesley's The Loss of the SS Titanic, if you're interested in accounts by survivors you could do a lot worse than picking up a cheap paperback of The Story of the Titanic as Told by its Survivors (edited by Jack Winocour, published by Dover). It has the full text of Beesley's book and Gracie's The Truth About the Titanic, along with the accounts of the sinking by Charles Lightoller (excerpted from Titanic and Other Ships) and Harold Bride. EBay and the secondhand circuit are littered with very cheap copies of this book too.

I see Eva Hart's Shadow of the Titanic (written with R Denney) on the secondhand circuit quite regularly, so I'm sure you'll be able to pick that one up easily too. To the best of my knowledge, Goldsmith's book is still readily available through the THS. Happy hunting.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Fiona

I Gave a Color for The Cover of The Beesley book, Though The Way it Came out, it might be hard To Tell Thats What I Was Doing. Refer to 1/25/05 Last Line.

I Have Thought About Getting The Winocour Book, Though I Decided to go w/ the 7 C's Press Version of Gracie's Book. As For Thayer I'll Just Buy the modern Reprint. and Lightoller I Could Have to Wait a While on.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Hi Pat!
Do you know if Mr Beesley's family kept any of the correspondence he had from other Titanic survivors?
I also wonder if Archibald Gracie's family kept the volumous ammounts of correspondence he had recieved from fellow survivors.
Given the quantity of information that made it into Gracie's book, no doubt there were things left out, due to lack of space...

Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Thanks Jesse. You're right, I did misread your description.
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So, you've got a black covered copy and mine's a peculiar pale grey green. Very different, eh.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Did Lawrence Beesley ever publish any other books, or was his Titanic account the only book he ever wrote?

Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Oct 13, 2000
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To my knowledge, Beesley never wrote another book, but Pat Cook would be the one to know for sure.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 
Feb 24, 2004
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I spend about equal amounts of time with both of them and wouldn't want to part with either one. But as to their writing, I prefer Beesley. He's every bit as meticulous with the details as Gracie, and still manages to convey a "you are there" quality. Small wonder Walter L liked him.

Roy
 
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I reread both books in recent months, and without doubt I prefer the Beesley book- To be frank- I had more faith in his desriptions than I had in Gracie's- Gracie seemed to go out of his way to paint most of first class- and in particular himself- as a hero. Beesley in contrats seemed an honest, objective desription of what he saw first hand.
But the Gracie book is stellar nonetheless-I am wondering if he relied more on interviews with other survivors- or if he used the US Senate titanic Inquiry as information on what others did that night.

I always wondered had Gracie lived to complete his book- what the remaining chapter(s) would have looked like- And indeed, was his book in its final draft form?

Does anyone know off hand if Gracie's papers, or correrspondence to and from from other survivors have survived? Has anyone contacted the Gracie family to find out?

regards


tarn Stephanos
 
May 1, 2004
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Beesley's; Gracie's prose style is like WHERE'S THE BOEUF???????????? He never says anything! And the first line of the book, something like, "As the last man in the green coat w/the one left shoe on the starboard side w/a piece of dental floss who helped a lady I hounded throughout the voyage into a lifeboat..." you get the picture.

Beesley's book is erudite, if a bit dry. But several concepts he puts forth: bring yourself back to the boat deck after the collision and forget the ship sank, is one I always suggest to those who wonder why the boats weren't rushed.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Hi Jonathan
I think that has to do more with writing style- Gracie's descriptive manor was typical of most history books of the time. He was an historian, and his American Civil war book was equally verbose. i think authors today are much simpler in their desriptions- with quick, less flowery narratives...
For its time, there was nothing peculiar about his writing style. If you want to sample some overly verbose narratives, try some early 19th century fiction-
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>If you want to sample some overly verbose narratives, try some early 19th century fiction-<<

I think I'd rather commit seppuku with a dull spoon. Quicker and less painful that way. Tarn's right about the literary styles. While verbose by our standards, they were the taken-for-granted norm of the day. At least in academia. Beesley's style may not be "professional" but it was easier to read. As I indicated a couple of years ago, he also had a few sensible ideas for changes in navigation practice.

It just goes to show that you don't always have to be a pro to work things out.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Beesley, hands down. Gracie, bless his old upper crust Episcopalian heart, gets too pompous and elitist for my liking.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
I don't quite understand some of the previous comments. Although Lawrence Beesley and Archibald Gracie had very different literary styles, their backgrounds were in many ways similar. Both would have been regarded as "gentlemen" with good educations - the one significant difference being that Colonel Gracie was a historian whereas Lawrence Beesley was a scientist. What is the point about their religious affiliations? Were they both Anglicans/Episcopalians?
 

Dave Gittins

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Beesley is said to have been a Christian Scientist. I'm not sure whether he really was, or whether he was merely studying their literature as part of his interest in religion. Anybody got anything from Beesley himself, as distinct from religious propaganda?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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I thought that he became interested in Christian Science in later life. My initial thoughts are that, as a Cambridge graduate who subsequently taught in prestigious grammer/public schools, Lawrence Beesley is likely to have been from an Anglican background, but having said that I simply do not known the answer.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Perhaps I should have used the word "Anglo Saxon"in reference to Gracie. As thorough an historian as he was, there was clearly a bias evident in his writings as to the superiority of the "Anglo Saxon race"- a term he uses. It was a prejudice not uncommon amongst those of the Gracie "set" and for the time period.
 

Dave Gittins

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I'd forgotten about the article linked to. I wonder if Beesley stayed with Christian Science. Anybody know how he was buried? (Don't say, "With a shovel")
 
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