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Tuesday 10 November 2009

Books for Boys – Vintage Boyhood Favourites


Captain W. E. Johns wrote a series of 98 Biggles books, and such was their popularity that they have been published in 26 countries and are still currently being republished.

Biggles, or James Bigglesworth, starts off as a young flyer in the Royal Flying Corps in France where he is taken under the wing of Mahoney and soon becomes a very skilled pilot. His adventures span a period from World War I through to World War II and beyond, many of the stories arising from W. E. John’s own experience who was often writing about authentic events, with embellishments which were not always entirely credible. After the two World Wars, Biggles and associates are recruited into a special airborne police unit to continue their adventures.

Captain W.E.Johns (1893 – 1968) served as a machine gunner in WWI and from 1918 was himself a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps in France. He was shot down over Mannheim and became a Prisoner of War and escaped. He was recaptured and only avoided execution because of the abrupt end to the war. He remained in the Royal Air Force until 1931 when his final rank was Flying Officer, and he added the epithet of Captain when he became a prolific and famous writer, the author of 167 books, including the Worrals, Gimlet and Steeley series, as well as science fiction and books on aviation and gardening.

I own the following collection of books, which I would like to sell. You can see more about them, including pictures, on my website gloriousconfusion.com if you navigate to Childrens Books, or alternatively go directly there via this link: http://www.gloriousconfusion.com/books/childrens_books/childrens_books_we_john.php

Capt. WE Johns:

Biggles in The Cruise of the Condor The Thames Publishing Co (Regent Classics) undated, ca. 1952/

Biggles Air Detective Dean & Son Reprint 1952 (?)

Biggles Flies Again Dean & Sons, (Reprint) Undated.

Biggles in the South Seas third edition 1962 Brockhampton Press,

Biggles Combined Operation Hodder & Stoughton 1959 1st Edition, illustrated by Stead.

Biggles in the South Seas third edition 1962 Brockhampton Press

Biggles Takes a Holiday 1951 Third Impression Hodder & Stoughton. illustrated by Stead

Biggles Secret Agent Reprinted 1950 Oxford University Press, illustrated by Alfred Sindall

Biggles and the Missing Millionaire 1961 –1st edition Brock Books.

Biggles Follows On Hodder & Stoughton, illustrated by Stead
Biggles in Africa Reprint 1952 Oxford Illus. Alfred Sindall

Gimlet Goes Again University of London Press Ltd November 1944 - 1st edition – illustrated by Stead

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