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AndyK View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 19:17


Malcolm Hall

Amberley Publishing PLC, Cirencester Road, Chalford, Stroud GL6 8PE.

256pp, 172×248mm, softback. ISBN 978-1-84868-992-3, £19.99.

Subtitled The Royal Engineers and early British Aeronautics, this book is absolutely fascinating. From the very early days of man’s attempts to fly, right up to the start of World War I, everything is described in detail. To my knowledge, the fifty or so years before 1914, which are of great interest to us, have been little researched or written about previously. There are three sections – balloons, kites and aeroplanes – each of which is fully described and profusely illustrated. I particularly liked the section about kites, all of which was new to me. The story has its heroes, one of whom is Samuel Cody, who appears not to be the total charlatan of popular belief, and villains, most of whom are die-hard elderly senior soldiers and Members of the Treasury. There are 130 illustrations, some rather disappointing maps of the South African War, but above all a lucid narrative beautifully written with a sly sense of humour much to my taste. This scholarly book adds much to our knowledge of the run up to the Great War, and is highly recommended.

Click on the cover to buy from Amazon!

Edited by AndyK - 13 Oct 2010 at 19:26
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