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Department 1

Civil War Institute


Literature concerning aerial warfare was a new genre created by the First World War. With manned flight in its infancy, there were no significant novels or memoirs of pilots in combat before 1914. It was apparent to British publishers during the war that the new technology afforded a unique perspective on the battlefield, one that was practically made for an expanding literary marketplace. As such former Royal Flying Corps pilots created a new type of war book, one written by authors self-described as “Knights in the Air”, a literary mythology carefully constructed by pilots and publishers and propagated in the inter-war period through flight memoirs. [excerpt]

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