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Books and Magazines Topics related to WWI aviation authors, books and magazines

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Old 30 January 2012, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Captain Roy Brown, by Alan Bennett

Several years ago a book by Alan Bennett, titled Captain Roy Brown, was announced, but never appeared. Alan Bennett died in January 2007 and the work has langished since then. It has now been published, apparently in trade paperback (although Amazon.com says hardback), and for Amazon's Kindle format. The Kindle version appears as six separate volumes, unfoliated, so I cannot tell how many pages it has, and costs about $40 for all the parts. I also have the dead tree version on order, through Amazon.com supplied by The Book Depository in England (although iBooks and Brick Tower Press are in New York). I will report on the paper version when it arrives.
Co-author of the book is Margaret Brown Harmon (Roy Brown's daughter), with major contributions by Howard Morton Brown (Roy Brown's brother) and Denny Reid May ("Wop" May's son).

Volume One of the Kindle version contains the first four chapters, covering his life through flight training. Volume Two has the next four chapters, and covers his combat career. Volume Three has chapters 9 to 12, and covers 1918 to 1939. Volume Four has chapters 13-15 and covers 1939 to his death in 1944, and the family to 1965. Volume 5 has chapters 16-19, and covers "The Red Baron Affair" in detail, quoting or referencing every source known to Alan. Volume 6 has the appendices, bibliography, etc.

There are many photographs in the book, covering Roy Brown's entire life; Amazon says 500 photos. To me they too often seem small and dark. And maybe I don't know how to play with the Kindle version on my PC (you do not need to buy a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle reader and install it on a PC and Mac, as well as several other devices, but not Unix), but I don't see any way to change picture size or contrast.

My attempts in the past to contact Brick Tower Press, by phone or email, were never answered.

All in all, I think this is an excellent biography of Roy Brown, and well worth reading.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 30 January 2012, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for this, Frank. I've been waiting for this one.

Greg
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Old 6 February 2012, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Further to my original post, I have now received the dead tree book that I ordered. This turns out to be labelled Volume 1, and is Part One of the eBook edition, containing Chapters 1 to 15. It is 791 pages long, and trade paperback format (glued binding, so I cannot say how well it will hold up to heavy use). The pictures are much better in this version. This book can be found on amazon.com (and amazon.co.uk, and probably The Book Depository). It is listed there as a hardback, but only the trade paperback has appeared at this time. Volume 1 has the ISBN 978-1-883283-56-7, and Volume 2 is 978-1-883283-89-6. I have ordered Volume 2 from Amazon.com. It appears to be about 400 pages, and is the remaining chapters, plus appendices and index. Further comments when it arrives.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 7 February 2012, 01:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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791 pages? With another 400 to follow? Good grief, what on earth can be so fascinating about Roy Brown, other than the fact that he was involved in the last combat of MvR?

Sounds total overkill.
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Old 7 February 2012, 01:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are a lot of pictures, and illustrations (documents, combat reports, etc),
He had a life before von Richthofen, and he had a life afterwards. Aces are people too, and there is more to them than just their combat career.

Enjoy!

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Old 8 February 2012, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I might also mention that it looks like the book is set in 16 point type, which is rather large. 10 or 12 point is standard.

Enjoy!

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Old 18 February 2012, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have just received Volume 2 of this biography from Amazon.com. It contains chapters 16 to 19, and the appendices. Pages 793 to 1242. Same large point size as Volume 1. Chapter 16, about 200 pages, is titled April 21, 1918. Chapter 17 is titled 22 April 1918 to 31 July 2005; Chapter 18 is 1998 to 2006, The Investigation; and Chapter 19 is Who Did Kill The Red Baron?

Thus, Volume 2 is about only the events of April 21, 1918, and the death of Manfred von Richthofen. It discusses all the known sources, and quotes from many/most of them. Illustrated with photographs and maps of the area of the combat, plus several combat reports.

Volume 1 is the entire life of a modest scoring World War I ace, not just his combat career which most focus on. Volume 2 is a mystery story, about the event of Roy Brown's life that brought him to everyone's attention. And as a mystery story of course, no one would consider reading Chapter 19 before reading Chapters 16, 17 and 18, would you?

Both volumes are very much recommended. It is only regrettable that Alan Bennett did not live to see them published.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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