Sagittarius Rising, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either.

The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks ...this prince of pilots ...had a charmed life in every sense of the word' - George Bernard ShawSent 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 defence of London against deadly night time raids.


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I gave this book 5 stars more for the manner in which it was written, than for the "what" that was written. Later in the book I saw that the author claims to some extent to be a poet. No wonder his prose is so engaging! Well written. I have read many books on the air war in WWI. This one stands out because the author deals in many cases with his feelings and perceptions (as well as those of others), not merely the personal experiences of combat and loss. My favorite part of the book is at the end. Here he covers his experiences in China after the war (1920-1921), where is contracted as an instructor for the start-up of the Chinese Air Force. His view of the Chinese culture is most interesting and heart felt. He recognizes the beginning of the shift away from the traditional culture toward that of acceptance of the Western culture. Well done.

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