First edition, first printing slipcased hardback of SAGITTARIUS RISING, by Cecil Lewis and published by The Folio Society Ltd., London, in 1998. Introduction by Max Arthur. Lithographs by C. R. W. Nevinson. It was first published by Peter Davies in 1936. Text of this Folio Society edition follows that of the first edition, with minor emendations, and includes a foreword by the author first published in 1993.
The book and red slipcase are in near fine condition (Original illustrated cloth boards with blue/red/white lettering on the spine). Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions.
Cecil Arthur Lewis MC (1898 — 1997) was a British fighter pilot who flew in World War I. He went on to co-found the BBC and enjoy a long career as a writer.
Sent to France with the Royal Flying Corps at just seventeen, and later a member of the famous 56 Squadron, Cecil Lewis was an illustrious and passionate fighter pilot of the First World War, described by Bernard Shaw in 1935 as 'a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet'.
In this vivid and spirited account the author evocatively sets his love of the skies and flying against his bitter experience of the horrors of war, as we follow his progress from France and the battlefields of the Somme, to his pioneering defense of London against deadly night time raids. In writing his memoirs of the air war in 1936, Sagittarius Rising, Lewis created one of the classics of First World War literature (generally considered the finest air memoir of the war), which is still in print in Britain today.
This was followed by a number of sequels documenting his later life, including Sagittarius Surviving, All My Yesterdays, Farewell to Wings and Gemini to Joburg. The aviation classic Sagittarius Rising was inspiration for the movie 'Aces High' 1976 British war film directed by Jack Gold and starring Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer and Simon Ward.
Lewis was awarded an Academy Award, along with George Bernard Shaw, Ian Dalrymple and W. P. Lipscomb, at the 1938 Oscars ceremony for their screen adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion.
"And should I not, had I but known, have flung the machine this way and that, once more to feel it live under my hand, have sported in the sky and laughed and sung, knowing that never after should I feel so free, so sure in hazard, so secure, riding the daylight in the pride of youth? No more horizons wider than Hope! No more the franchise of the sky, the freedom of the blue! No more! No more! Farewell to wings! Down to the little earth!"
230 pages. Illustrated with full page black & white Lithographs throughout.
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Cecil Lewis SAGITTARIUS RISING Folio Society
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First edition, first printing slipcased hardback published by The Folio Society in 1998. Introduction by Max Arthur. Lithographs by C. R. W. Nevinson