Introduced by Cecil Lewis
Illustrated by Linda Kitson
A captivating memoir of the early days of flight, by the author of The Little Prince, with an introduction by Cecil Lewis.
‘A plane may be just a machine, but what an analytical instrument it is! It has revealed to us the true face of the earth’
Best known as the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was one of the earliest commercial aviators in a pioneering age of flight. Aged six, he tried to ride a bicycle with sails into the sky. In 1926, he joined a small band of pioneer airmen opening up commercial air routes between France, North Africa and South America. Initially called the Latécoère Company, this early airline was later taken over by Aéropostale and then by Air France. In this captivating, beautifully lyrical memoir, Saint-Exupéry describes his first mail flights between Toulouse and Barcelona, tense night-flights during the Spanish Civil War, his fear and love of the Sahara, across which he piloted many flights between small forts, and the crash that would have killed him and his companion, had not a Bedouin come to save them – ‘walking towards us over the sand like a god over the waves’.
‘No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero’
Cecil Lewis, who was a fighter pilot during the First World War, a co-founder of the British Broadcasting Company and a successful writer, provides an impassioned introduction to this edition. He pays homage to the ‘great pilot poet’, describing him as ‘the champion of those skies he flew, the hurricanes of Patagonia, the peaks of the Andes, the lonely, endless desert ... Here nothing was secure, charted or commonplace, but there Saint-Exupéry was at home.’ The book is illustrated by Linda Kitson with 11 double-page drawings as chapter openings, plus two endpaper drawings.
‘He seemed not to belong to this earth at all but to have dropped on it by chance from Mars or Jupiter’
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