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The Books Aboard the Titanic


This coming Saturday night/Sunday morning (April 14th – 15th, 2012) marks one hundred years since the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage – a full century since the tragedy that claimed the lives of over 1500 passengers and crew, and has impacted culture in every form imaginable, from films and plays and songs to, of course, books. Today CBC Books takes a look at books that were popular at the time of the sailing, and wonders what the people aboard the Titanic might have been reading. What books might have gone down with the ship?

Some of the titles they offer as possibility (and I am limiting the results to only copies published before 1912, for authenticity) include The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Under the Moons of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Way of an Eagle by Ethel Dell, The Singing Bone by R. Austin Freeman, and Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn.

I would also add the possibilities of A Modern Chronicle by Winston Churchill (the american novelist, not the other), which had been published in 1910 and was a bestseller in 1911. Another likely choice might be The Rosary by Florence Barclay, which was a tremendously popular novel of the time. It is a charming and lyrical love story that was a bestseller for several years running.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

One Response to “The Books Aboard the Titanic”

  1. Aging Lit Major April 16, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Perhaps Kipling and Jack London? William Dean Howells’ memoir of Mark Twain? The latest from Baroness Orczy?