The War in the Air,
being the Story of the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force.London : 1931-9 Stock Code: 50346
NotesAll are first editions, apart from volume I, originally published in 1922, which is a second impression "reprinted photographically from the corrected sheets of the first edition" (imprint). These corrections not noted by Wells. "The first volume of the official Air History goes outside its subject so far as to deal, in fascinating manner, with the pioneers of aerial navigation It was an experiment to put an official history of a highly technical subject into the hands of a university professor, however fine a writer; but it must be said that as an experiment it largely succeeded" (Falls). This volume was to be his longest work, " his first experience of writing history on a large scale, and he stated in his preface that 'The writer of this history has endeavoured to make his narrative intelligible to those who, like himself, are outsiders'. His style is here at its simplest, but the fervour of his admiration for the heroism of the air is everywhere apparent and finds memorable expression in the introduction" (ODNB). Raleigh set out to the Middle East to undertake research on volume II, contracted typhoid "when his aeroplane was marooned for four or five days in the desert between Jerusalem and Baghdad", and died a few weeks before the publication of volume I. The writing of the history was taken over by D.G. Hogarth, who was "compelled by ill-health to abandon it" (Falls), the mantle then fell upon Capt. H.A. Jones, head of the Air Historical Section, who completed the task. Falls remarked on the second volume, which was to hand before publication of his War Books: "From the technical point of view it is declared by good authorities to be superior to its predecessor. From the literary point of view it certainly does not disgrace the companion volume. It is altogether a very fine piece of work", and awarded it three stars, reserved by him for books of "superlative merit", and grudgingly granted. A very good set of this much admired history.
9 volumes octavo, including 2 map-cases. Text volumes in original dark blue buckram, the map-cases are modern copies of the originals, titles gilt to the spines, all of the text volumes, including the Appendices with the dust jackets.
Numerous folding maps, 70 of them in the separate map-cases, many in colour.
Jackets price-clipped, a little tanned at the spines and with mild crumpling head and tail, but overall very good indeed.
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