I am not very interested in fiction or its liberties. I would rather get as near to truth as I can.
In fictional accounts of the sinking of the Titanic, which happened 100 years ago today, liberties are often taken: maelstroms of nature and human panic are imagined and inserted, and were from the first.
The reality may have been much more eerie and haunting. The best eyewitness account was provided by Lawrence Beesley, in his book The Loss of the S. S. Titanic. What follows is an excerpt from the book that recounts the sinking of the ship—in silence, on gentle ocean swells with no waves.
The book is in the public domain. Hope you enjoy reading this.
The Loss of the S. S. Titanic
by Lawrence Beesley
Excerpt from Chapter IV, "The Sinking of the Titanic,
Seen from a Lifeboat."
...We had no eyes for anything but the ship we had just left. As the oarsmen pulled slowly away we all turned and took a long look at the mighty vessel towering high above our midget boat, and I know it must have been the most extraordinary sight I shall ever be called upon to witness; I realize now how totally inadequate language is to convey to some other person who was not there any real impression of what we saw.
But the task must be attempted: the whole picture is so intensely dramatic that, while it is not possible to place on paper for eyes to see the actual likeness of the ship as she lay there, some sketch of the scene will be possible. First of all, the climatic conditions were extraordinary...