Translated Letter Gives Firsthand Account of 'Titanic' 's Sinking

"Sometimes, 43 years after the tragedy, I still dream about it"

Photo: Universal History Archive/Getty

The Titanic sank 103 years ago Wednesday, and this might be the most riveting account of the ship’s sinking since James Cameron’s epic film.

New – though unverified – letters that seem to be a first-person account of the sinking of the Titanic surfaced last March. Written in French and dated 1955, the letters were recently translated after being posted to Reddit.

Penned by a French woman named Rose Amélie Icard, the letters (the full original text of which you can read here) seem to have been written to the daughter of another woman, whose mother also survived the sinking.

You can read Reddit user frenchlitgeek’s full translation of the text here, but some of the most compelling sections are below.

“Towards eleven o’clock Mrs. Stone [Icard’s employer] and I went to bed. Three quarters of an hour later, as the liner was cruising at full speed, a terrifying shock threw us out of bed.”

The letter continues, describing the scene on deck: “At this moment we witnessed unforgettable scenes where horror mixed with the most sublime heroism. Women, still in evening gowns, some just out of bed, barely clothed, disheveled, distraught, scrambled for the boats.”

“Near me were two handsome elderly [people], Mr. and Mrs. Straus, proprietors of the great store Macy’s of New York. She refused to go into the boat after having helped in her maid.”

“She put her arms around the neck of her husband, telling him: ‘We have been married 50 years, we have never left each other, I want to die with you.’ ”

“Sometimes, 43 years after the tragedy, I still dream about it.”

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