Why reading in the Lounge


Hitch

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In the Lounge on A-deck was a large bookcase, but why was it there if the reading and writing room was just next to it? Did passenger read books in the lounge? If so, why did they had the reading an writing room?

Thanks.
 

Bob Godfrey

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The lounge was an area intended for use by both men and women. Having obtained a book there, a passenger could sit down to read it in the lounge, or go to the adjoining reading and writing room (for ladies) or to the smoking room (for men) - or anywhere else, according to preference. White Star specified only that borrowed books should be returned and not left lying around the decks.
 

Hitch

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Thank Bob.
So the reading and writing room was the same as the Lounge, but just for ladies? Am I right?
 

David Whan

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To the best that I can recall, the reading and writing room was designed as a place for the women to retire after dinner. A place for them to gossip while their men went to the smoking room to play cards or smoke cigars.

Hope this helps.

Dave
 

Bob Godfrey

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According to The Shipbuilder, the lounge was a facility where 'passengers will indulge in reading, conversation, cards, tea-drinking, and other social intercourse'. I imagine that the r&w room was more of a quiet retreat for undisturbed reading or catching up on correspondence.
 

Hitch

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So, the smoking room was only for the men. The Reading & writing room only for the ladys, and the lounge for both men and women?
 

Hitch

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Thanks Dan.

Douse anyone know what titels of books (or what genre) was in the bookcase in the Lounge?

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Bob Godfrey

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White Star informed 1st Class passengers that they could expect to find a range of standard works along with a regularly updated selection of the latest titles. The chance of finding a list of those titles is just about zero, but as in any library they would have included a varied range of fiction and non-fiction to suit all tastes. Old Dominion by Mary Johnson (a volume of pre-Civil War history, I believe) was one specific title mentioned by Colonel Gracie and very much to his taste, but there was probably more demand for works of fiction by the popular writers of the day. I've seen other survivor accounts which mention specific books, but it's not always clear whether these had been borrowed from the library onboard.
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Hitch

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Thanks for your help Bob.

Do you know any other specific titels?
And if you maybe know the once the survivors mentiond, because then I know what books they at least read onboard.
Ps: Could it be possible that passengers read Romeo and Jullia or King Arthur books, ect...

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Bob Godfrey

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I can't help you any more on this question, Carl, expect to say that it's almost certain that the library contained the works of Shakespeare (including Romeo and Juliet, if that's what you meant).
 

Paul Lee

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Did Lawrence Beesley keep the two books that he borrowed from the 2nd class library? They'd be worth a fortune if they ever turned up!

Cheers

Paul

 

Bob Godfrey

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Yeah, but after nearly 100 years overdue you'd need a second mortgage to pay the fines!
wink.gif
 

Hitch

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Thanks Bob.
Its for my book.
So do you maybe think some of these famous writers could be read there:

Aeschylus
Aristophanes
Denis Diderot


Thanks.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Carl, if you are writing a work of fiction then you are free to place whatever you like in that bookcase, because nobody can contradict you by stating for sure what was or was not there. Works of the authors you mention were certainly available in 1912, but I doubt there would have been much demand for them. Most people would have preferred to relax with a best-selling novel like The Harvester, by Gene Stratton Porter, The Broad Highway, by Jeffery Farnol, or The Virginian, a classic western by Owen Wister. If memory serves me, one of the Titanic survivors actually mentioned that last title.
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Damon Hill

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I'm sure I read somewhere, I think it might have been in A Night To Remember, that Mr Silverthorne was reading The Virginian in the First Class Smoking Room the night of the collision, and I have a feeling it may even say he was seen reading it whilst the ship was sinking...I'll have to see if I can find it! Another book that Ive seen mentioned, either in A Night To Remember, or The Night Lives On, was the book that Gracie had written about the civil war, called The Truth About Chickamauga, a copy of which he had 'foisted' upon Isador Straus who assured him he had read it with 'intense interest'. The Rubaiyat of course was also onboard, stowed somewhere down in the hold probably. Also in Susan Wels book there is a photograph of a small novel that was retrieved from the wreck, the title was, as Susan puts it "horribly ironic" The title....."I'll steer you straight"
 
B

Brian R Peterson

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Hi Damon,

Yes, Colonel Gracie was reading a book about Civil War history on Titanic, a subject of great interest to him.

The Rubiayat was aboard, however all evidence seems to suggest it was not stored in the Purser's safe rather in the ship's specie room.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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On the evening of the accident, Martha Stephensen had borrowed from the library, Shackleton's book about his expedition to the North Pole. Before the collision, she lay in bed looking at a wide range of iceberg pictures.....
 

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