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Mary and Richard: Story of Richard Hillary and Mary Booker [Mass Market Paperback]

Michael Burn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 May 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749300248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749300241
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 866,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read "The Last Enemy", Richard Hillary's World War II "Battle of Britain" classic, when I was about 10, in 1960, in Australia.
It is an exciting, and sometimes heartbreaking story of a carefree university student who becomes a Spitfire pilot, is shot down, horribly burned, and then patched up by brilliant, experimental plastic surgery.
(The Guinea Pig Club -- the burns victims who were treated by these brilliant surgeons -- is a remarkable story in its own right!)
The book culminates with an accidental encounter between Hillary, after surgery, his face disfigured, and a woman who has been bombed out of her house during the London Blitz.
The woman, still in shock from her own experience, quietly says to Hillary, "I see they got you, too".

Incidentally, the "last enemy", of the title, comes from the New Testament (1st Corinthians, chap 15, verse 26), where Death is referred to as "the last enemy".

What happened to Hillary, later in the war, I did not know, except that he had been killed during training as a night-fighter pilot.

It was not until about 1990 that I happened to chance on a copy of Michael Burn's book "Mary and Richard".
What a lucky find.
Michael Burn is, or was, himself, a remarkable man. Novelist, poet, commando, journalist, Colditz prisoner of war, ...
Mary Booker was Burn's wife!
During the war he had caught a glimpse of her, in the distance, at a party, and thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and decided that he wanted to marry her (or words to that effect).
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