Lost At Sea

On its maiden voyage en route from Southampton to New York, the RMS Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg. Among those who died at sea were American book collector and Grolier Club member Harry Elkins Widener who at 27 had already amassed an impressive personal library of 2,500 rare books. In a letter from March 10 to a friend, he said he was about to embark on the Titanic and had recently bought the complete set of original drawings for The Mystery of Edwin Drood from book dealer Bernard Quaritch in London. Another of his purchases, this one from J Pearson and Co, which went down with the ship was Heavy News of a Horrible Earthquake which was in the city of Scarbaria in this present year, a small pamphlet about a terrible disaster from 1542…

Books lost to the waters included the fabled The Great Omar, a sumptuous 1911 Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in a gold leaf and multi-jewelled binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, and a 1598 2nd edition of Sir Francis Bacon’s ‘Essays’ which Widener had just bought in London. Seven parcels of parchment of the Torah owned by Hersh L. Siebald were also among the Titanic cargo claimed as lost.


This entry was posted in Art, Books, Europe, History, Tourism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lost At Sea

  1. margaret21 says:

    I’d never heard about this aspect of the Titanic disaster. Thanks.

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