Home From The Sea by A Rostron

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
Cornelius, the book sometimes appears on Ebay and elsewhere, usually at a crazy price.

It's a good read, but sometimes wildly inaccurate. A curious feature is the absence of the names of those Rostron worked with. For instance, in the part about Titanic he only mentions a few passengers by name, not his crew.

It can be obtained by inter-library loan, depending a bit on where you live. It conveys a bit about Rostron's character and background and his enthusiasm for his job shines throughout it. As a historical document, it's a bit shaky.
Oct 13, 2000
Actually I thought the chapter on the Titanic was the best one in the book. If you would like some more details about the various editions of Rostron's autobiography, check out the following page:


The book does show up on eBay from time to time, though I prefer to use retail rather than auction sites myself. There are currently several copies on the used book sites right now. Check out the following link:


No, your eyes are not fooling you, those prices are high. The book is expensive. So Dave's idea of an inter-library loan might be a very good suggestion. And you can get lucky and find a copy for much less - its just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
Oct 13, 2000
Drat! That second link didn't work. You can copy the whole line and paste it into your browser's URL bar and that will pull up the page.

If that doesn't work, use this link:


Just type Rostron into the author field, and Home into the title field and it will pull up the same results.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T

Cornelius Thiessen

Thanks for the info Dave and Michael, but at 400 bucks a book me thinks I'll pass
I'm off to the local library to see if they have it or can get it through an interbranch loan.Thanks again folks...
Jan 7, 2002
The book pops up- for some reason, I always run into available copies..
The tricky part is finding one with an intact dust jacket!

The Rostron, Lightoller, Prectyl and Baarslag books are all Titanic related books that came out fitted with dust jackets, yet 9 times out of 10 when those volumes surface, they are without thier original dust jackets..
Anyone else notcie this?


tarn Stephanos
Oct 13, 2000
Hi Kalman,
If you had checked that link, you would have seen that the cover image has been on there for a week already! lol.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T

Carrie Rostron

Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of Arthur Rostron's book, "Home from the Sea"? He was my great-great uncle, and I'm looking for the book as a present for my father. I appreciate any help! Thanks!!
Jun 4, 2000
Hello Carrie,

I've moved the thread you started into an existing thread to keep discussion about locating a copy Home From the Sea together.

Like Tarn, I use Bookfinder. While that's my first port of call (as it searches several used book networks including ABEbooks), I also have a look at http://used.addall.com/. Sometimes AddAll brings up a different mix of books available, but this time it looks like the same eight found through Bookfinder.

Happy hunting.
Jan 16, 2002
San Jose, California
Hi Everyone. I've noticed that in the last year or so some of the rarer---and not so rare---Titanic books have been showing up in the online used book services. A few years ago perhaps one was lucky if they could find one or two copies of Rostron's book for sale, and now eight are to be found. I'm guessing the Titanic craze that came after the Cameron film has died down and some people have found other interests and are unloading copies of books they paid a lot for. Now is perhaps the time to start locating and purchasing books before the 100th anniversary of the tragedy ignites another Titanic frenzy. Just my thoughts....
Mike Condon
San Jose, CA

Ernie Luck

Nov 24, 2004
I have just finished reading Arthur Rostron’s book and although IMO it is not a work of literature, anything he wrote must be worth reading, being from the ‘horse’s mouth’ as it were. Written nearly twenty years after the sinking of the Titanic, inevitably his memory of events may have clouded a little. I mention below a few of the items which interested me; although highlighting my own ignorance of the subject they serve as reminders of the conditions that existed at that time.

On his transfer from sail to steam he comments about the need to maintain the schedule. On his first crossing in a liner [steam], a winter crossing, he writes:-“ that it brought me a new experience. We bore into heavy seas and I was staggered at the speed that was maintained in spite of the damage the weather was causing to the ship. But in those days speed was the be-all and end-all of the crack ships. Competition was won with speed and I have known cases when damage amounting to a five-figure total has been occasioned in a few minutes because speed would not be reduced.” [Seems a large amount? Perhaps he was just over-emphasising the point, but it illustrates the pressure on liner Captains to maintain the schedule and ‘damn the expense’.]

The chapter on ‘Titanic’ makes you realise what a close call the survivors had because Cottam, the Marconi operator, was on the point of retiring when he received the S.O.S from Titanic. According to Rostron, Harold Cottam finished duty at midnight and it was at 12.30 am - when still listening in - whilst undoing his boots that the call came

One of the seeds of the disaster (my words) was the warmer weather in the far north two summers before. Rostron writes:-“It took two years for these giant remnants to work their way far south and we were to be amazed when daylight broke to find on every hand berg and flow stretching as far as the eye could reach. Into that danger zone we raced the Carpathia; every nerve strained watching for ice”. He goes on to say that at daybreak icebergs were everywhere:-“I instructed a junior officer to go to the wheel-house deck and count them. Twenty—five there were over two hundred feet in height and dozens ranging from hundred and fifty down to fifty feet. [It struck me that the Titanic had been racing into a veritable mine-field of icebergs!!].

I won’t quote more from this book because I am sure that most of the experienced folk on ET will be aware of conditions but it does no harm to remind ourselves from time to time

Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Hallo Ernie - I absolutely agree that it's good to revisit sources from time to time...not only to keep our recollections of them current, but also as different angles can suggest themselves and pieces of information can fall into place with new readings. Fresh connections can occur to the reader, depending on what sources you're looking into at the time.

I try to review major texts every couple of years - they're useful reading on my morning commute, and provide context for whatever new sources I'm delving into.

Matthew Farr

Mar 23, 2000
Lansing, Michigan, United States
I recently bought a copy of a first edition of Home From the Sea which i would say is in fair condition. I paid $175 for it and was wondering if this was a bargain or not. It does not have the dust jacket. I have seen this book on antique book sites priced at $250-$350 so I think i did pretty good. Let me know what you think