Biggles and the Dark Intruder by Captain W E Johns (first published by Brockhampton Press in 1967 as a paperback, this hardback edition published in 1970)
Introduced by Henry Sotheran’s, London
Captain William Earl Johns (1893-1968) led an extraordinarily full and adrenaline-filled life.
His early career was as a sanitary inspector in Swaffham, Norfolk until he enlisted in the Territorial Army as a trooper in the King’s Own Royal Regiment, Norfolk Yeomanry, fighting in Gallipoli.
He then joined the Machine Gun Corps and contracted malaria in Macedonia. On recovery he was commissioned to the Royal Flying Corps. After training he was appointed Flying Instructor and later Recruiting Officer, in which capacity he famously turned down T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)’s application for submitting a false name.
As a pilot he had a host of hair-raising adventures writing off three planes by crashing them into the sea, into sand, and into a fellow officer’s back door. He also managed to shoot off his own propeller, twice!
As a writer he was prolific, producing 160 novels, most famously involving the flying ace Biggles whose exploits were described between 1932 (in ‘The Camels Are Coming’) and 1968, when Johns died.
A couple of books appeared posthumously such as this title, published in 1970, which is one of the rarest of the later titles and very valuable in this condition. Look out for it at your local car-boot!
Biggles and the Dark Intruder was first published in April 1967 (uniquely as a paperback). It was then published as a hardback in February 1970. Unlike many of the Biggles stories, it was never serialised elsewhere.
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