Rare Books to Buy – Reach for the Sky
The Douglas Bader Story
by Paul Brickhill
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The life story of the World War Two RAF pilot who lost both legs in a pre-war plane crash yet continued to fly operationally during the Second World War – including the Battle of Britain – with artificial legs and a great deal of determination.
The story was subsequently filmed, starring Kenneth More as Douglas Bader in the 1956 Lewis Gilbert film Reach for the Sky. You can obtain a copy here.
The book is hardback in blue cloth, gilt spine titling, pp384 + frontispiece illustration and 12 pages of plates.
This copy is in Extremely Good – almost immaculate – condition, in an uncommonly Fine dustjacket. Because it is unusual to find a copy of this book in such excellent condition I will describe its few deficiences in close detail.
The book itself is sunned at the very top of the spine , to a depth of just 2mm. The other fault of any significance is light fore-edge foxing, and a little foxing also to the top and bottom page edges. Other than the above-mentioned, and a light scratch mark (approx 1 cm) to the cloth on the back, I believe that you will find this book to be immaculate.
As for the dustjacket, it is very lightly rubbed at the head of the spine and both front corners, and as it is made of paper with no laminate finish there is evident foxing to front, back, and internally. However, this is only truly apparent on the back which, being white, highlights any brown foxing and several dustmarks. Nevertheless the dustjacket is clean, very smart and entirely complete, no nicks or tears whatsoever.
Collins, 1954. First edition. A highly collectible book in such original condition.
You may be interested to hear the Desert Island Discs broadcast from 1981, in which Douglas Bader selected eight records to take with him to the imaginary desert island. You can download a copy from the BBC archive here.
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