Unless you are a book collector, don't break your heart if you can't get Rostron's book. It's a good read, but it's not particularly accurate. A feature is the absence of the names of officers Rostron served with. Captain Lord would be interested to know that Californian had no radio. Borrow it and copy the relatively few relevant pages.
Speaking of rare books, does anyone think that it is still possible to go into an antique shop/used book store/second hand store/flea market and find among the books a rare Titanic book for a cheap price? Also, which place would you most likely find a rare book? It seems that since James Camerons movie came out anything with the letters TITANIC on it is high priced.
Finding Titanc books at old bookstores or antique shops still happens for me- there has been over saturation of Titanic from the movie, so most of the 'johnny come lately' Titanic buffs who developed an interest and collected books after the Cameron film lost interest, and sold off what they had. Plus the fact many collectors assume everything is available only online these days means you have less competators to deal with when haunting old bookstores. Many old bookstores are not on the net- there are still gems to be found. I have found Titanic books sold online are much more expensive than ones to be found in old bookstores , antique shops or flea markets.
Well, hunting around flea markets and used book shops is exactly what Tracy Smith and myself are doing these days in our hope to find contemporary sources. That was how we found that 10th edition of Knight's Modern Seamanship which she bought when we went down to Athens last week. We're hoping to find more such locally and I've left my name with one dealer in the hopes of finding material germane to the Californian. I want to get every single one that I can both pro and con for my own collection. The problem is that most all of them are out of print and getting them second hand can be a bit expensive. Especially if the seller knows the value of what they have.
I can't think of a better reason to go to a flea market then to look for a rare bargain. I have not been very fortunate in the line of steamship memoribelia except a somewhat old booklet with post cards of the Queen Mary stuffed inside, and National Geographics for 25 cents. There is always next weekend though!
I love going to a flea market or a used bookstore to search for Titanic books. A few months ago, I was lucky to have found a couple of books on the Titanic and the December 1986 National Geographic issue.
One of the gems in my collection is "Home From The Sea" by Arthur Rostron. Its a fascinating read, and the man did indeed have an interesting life! Has his book ever been reprinted? With Bisset's "Tramps And ladies" having been reprinted, Rostron's book certainly should have been reprinted too.
How many editions of Rostron's book were printed?
There was a tan colored one (seen on Michael's books site);
but years ago I had a blue bound copy- a British edition perhaps?
The Rostron book seems realtively common, as opposed to the lightoller book...
I would dearly love to get my mitts on a copy of this book, but it continues to elude me...
My experiences are different to yours: Lightoller's book seems to fall from the heavens with persistent regularity. Maybe the Rostron book was easier for you to find than the Lightoller, as there was an American edition of Home From the Sea?
Anyway, as I’ve just looked that up, I’ll continue my search with fresh hope as now I know there’s more copies out there than I’d originally thought. Yay! (I’ve got all the excerpts pertaining to Titanic, but it’s just not the same is it?)
As for Bissett’s books, I suspect he had larger print runs as well as being published in several countries — then there was, as you wrote, the reprint in the 1980s. That, and his book (1959) is more recent so there’s not so much natural attrition to account for.
check this Rostron being sold on Ebay- Mike, note the blue binding- we seem to have the one with the tan binding. Could this be an earlier edition? I had a blue edition years back, but foolishly sold it. I havent seen one until now.
Its being sold by Richard Foster, the dealer from whom i purchased my dust jacketed Lightoller...
thanks for pointing out the Rostron on eBay. the blue version is not an earlier edition, it is the British edition which came out the same year as the American edition, 1931. near as I can tell, both versions were published more or less simultaneously. I have no clue why the blue Cassell (British) edition is so much more scarce than the grey Macmillan (American) edition. but it surely is. I have not seen a copy of the British edition in quite a while.
I see Richard Foster was the seller. he does have the knack for turning up some great titles. he has had some truly spectacular stuff over the years. the one he had that I most covetted was a first printing of Titanic & Other Ships signed by Lightoller! what a gem! but well beyond my pocketbook. :-(
About 6 months ago, I won an auction for "Home
from the Sea" for $147.00. It was the tan copy
not the Bristish version. I was shocked to get
it for that price, because I have seen it a selling for a lot more. WWW.ABEBOOKS.COM has it,
Richard Foster is selling it, but I think he
wants about $400.00 for it. I usually don't pay
that much for a book, but it is very difficult
to find anything that Sir Arthur Rostron wrote.
I also had purchased a book "Scribner's Magazine"
that was bounded in a hardback book, that had
a chapter by Rostron. If you have any version of
the book ........KEEP IT......... it is a very
scarce book and took me 8 years to find it-Patty