Buy Used
£1.50
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sagittarius Rising (Greenhill Military Paperback) Paperback – 15 Oct 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 15 Oct 2003
£25.80 £1.50
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£13.96
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; New edition edition (15 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853675598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853675591
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,061,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review


Praise for "Sagittarius Rising"
"This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks . . . This prince of pilots had a charmed life in every sense of the word; he is a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet."
--George Bernard Shaw
"A magical evocation of the lonely battle fought in the clouds."
--"The Daily Telegraph"
"Classic . . . the definitive account of aerial combat--full of passion and poetry."
--"The Independent"
"I have read a number of different accounts of aviators in the First World War, but the world that Cecil Lewis unveils in "Sagittarius Rising" is unlike any other I have previously read about ... What makes this book so special is not only Cecil Lewis's story, but the way in which he shares his life experiences. He writes so eloquently, painting an amazingly detailed picture with his words ... If I had to pick the one book that I could own on the personal accounts of aviators from the First World War, this book would be it ... [Lewis's] ability to captivate your imagination with his words makes for a book that is very difficult to put down once you start reading it."
--"Aero" (January 2007)
"This beautiful work evokes the air war of 1914-1918 in an unusual and moving way. It was written by a sensitive artist who, unlike so many of his comrades, had his life preserved by a series of fortunate assignments during his career as a combat pilot. He thus acquired the skill to match his love of flying, and so survived the war ... Given that Cecil Lewis left school at 17, lying about his age to get into the Royal Flying Corps, his ability with words is astounding. Even more remarkable is that much of his 1936 "Sagittarius Rising" is written with passionate, embracing enthusiasm of youth. His foreword wryly acknowledges this, T

Praise for "Sagittarius Rising"
"This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks . . . This prince of pilots had a charmed life in every sense of the word; he is a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet."
--George Bernard Shaw
"A magical evocation of the lonely battle fought in the clouds."
--"The Daily Telegraph"
"Classic . . . the definitive account of aerial combat--full of passion and poetry."
--"The Independent"
"I have read a number of different accounts of aviators in the First World War, but the world that Cecil Lewis unveils in "Sagittarius Rising" is unlike any other I have previously read about ... What makes this book so special is not only Cecil Lewis's story, but the way in which he shares his life experiences. He writes so eloquently, painting an amazingly detailed picture with his words ... If I had to pick the one book that I could own on the personal accounts of aviators from the First World War, this book would be it ... [Lewis's] ability to captivate your imagination with his words makes for a book that is very difficult to put down once you start reading it."
--"Aero" (January 2007)
"This beautiful work evokes the air war of 1914-1918 in an unusual and moving way. It was written by a sensitive artist who, unlike so many of his comrades, had his life preserved by a series of fortunate assignments during his career as a combat pilot. He thus acquired the skill to match his love of flying, and so survived the war ... Given that Cecil Lewis left school at 17, lying about his age to get into the Royal Flying Corps, his ability with words is astounding. Even more remarkable is that much of his 1936 "Sagittarius Rising" is written with passionate, embracing enthusiasm of youth. His foreword wryly acknowledges this, aski

Praise for "Sagittarius Rising"
"This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks . . . This prince of pilots had a charmed life in every sense of the word; he is a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet."
--George Bernard Shaw
"A magical evocation of the lonely battle fought in the clouds."
--"The Daily Telegraph"
"Classic . . . the definitive account of aerial combat--full of passion and poetry."
--"The Independent"
"I have read a number of different accounts of aviators in the First World War, but the world that Cecil Lewis unveils in "Sagittarius Rising" is unlike any other I have previously read about ... What makes this book so special is not only Cecil Lewis's story, but the way in which he shares his life experiences. He writes so eloquently, painting an amazingly detailed picture with his words ... If I had to pick the one book that I could own on the personal accounts of aviators from the First World War, this book would be it ... [Lewis's] ability to captivate your imagination with his words makes for a book that is very difficult to put down once you start reading it."
--"Aero" (January 2007)
"This beautiful work evokes the air war of 1914-1918 in an unusual and moving way. It was written by a sensitive artist who, unlike so many of his comrades, had his life preserved by a series of fortunate assignments during his career as a combat pilot. He thus acquired the skill to match his love of flying, and so survived the war ... Given that Cecil Lewis left school at 17, lying about his age to get into the Royal Flying Corps, his ability with words is astounding. Even more remarkable is that much of his 1936 "Sagittarius Rising" is written with passionate, embracing enthusiasm of youth. His foreword wryly acknowledges this, asking the reader's forgiveness for his inclusion of some tentative romantic encounters ... a book that everyone who loves aviation should read."
--"Aviation History" (November 2007)
"If you want to read one book which best captures the heroic infancy of flying, then "Sagittarius Rising" is it. Forget St-Exupery, Lindbergh or even Richard Hillary. Cecil Lewis got there before any of them, and in this magical memoir summed up the terrible beauty of flying, and fighting the first air war, waged in the skies above the Western Front."
--Nigel Jones, "BBC History Magazine"
""Sagittarius Rising" is his stirring, often moving, account of his years with the corps, fighting on the Western Front. The vivid descriptions of dog-fights (including an encounter with the Red Baron) and the exhilaration of flight transcend "Boy's Own Paper" banality through his poignancy and lyrical depth." --"The Times
""This pretty new Penguin edition of his book sports an eye-catching cover illustration by Matthew Taylor and a wonderful Introduction by aviation historian Samuel Hynes...it's mighty good fun to spend time in airman Lewis's company."
"Open Lettters Monthly"

Praise for "Sagittarius Rising"
This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks . . . This prince of pilots had a charmed life in every sense of the word; he is a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet.
George Bernard Shaw
A magical evocation of the lonely battle fought in the clouds.
"The Daily Telegraph"
Classic . . . the definitive account of aerial combat full of passion and poetry.
"The Independent"
I have read a number of different accounts of aviators in the First World War, but the world that Cecil Lewis unveils in "Sagittarius Rising" is unlike any other I have previously read about What makes this book so special is not only Cecil Lewis s story, but the way in which he shares his life experiences. He writes so eloquently, painting an amazingly detailed picture with his words ... If I had to pick the one book that I could own on the personal accounts of aviators from the First World War, this book would be it [Lewis s] ability to captivate your imagination with his words makes for a book that is very difficult to put down once you start reading it.
"Aero" (January 2007)
This beautiful work evokes the air war of 1914-1918 in an unusual and moving way. It was written by a sensitive artist who, unlike so many of his comrades, had his life preserved by a series of fortunate assignments during his career as a combat pilot. He thus acquired the skill to match his love of flying, and so survived the war Given that Cecil Lewis left school at 17, lying about his age to get into the Royal Flying Corps, his ability with words is astounding. Even more remarkable is that much of his 1936 "Sagittarius Rising" is written with passionate, embracing enthusiasm of youth. His foreword wryly acknowledges this, asking the reader s forgiveness for his inclusion of some tentative romantic encounters a book that everyone who loves aviation should read.
"Aviation History" (November 2007)
If you want to read one book which best captures the heroic infancy of flying, then "Sagittarius Rising" is it. Forget St-Exupery, Lindbergh or even Richard Hillary. Cecil Lewis got there before any of them, and in this magical memoir summed up the terrible beauty of flying, and fighting the first air war, waged in the skies above the Western Front.
Nigel Jones, "BBC History Magazine"
"Sagittarius Rising" is his stirring, often moving, account of his years with the corps, fighting on the Western Front. The vivid descriptions of dog-fights (including an encounter with the Red Baron) and the exhilaration of flight transcend "Boy's Own Paper" banality through his poignancy and lyrical depth. "The Times
""This pretty new Penguin edition of his book sports an eye-catching cover illustration byMatthew Taylorand a wonderful Introduction by aviation historian Samuel Hynes...it s mighty good fun to spend time in airman Lewis s company."
"Open Lettters Monthly"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Cecil Lewis (1898 1997), the longest-living flying ace from WWI, joined Great Britain s Royal Flying Corps at age sixteen and served as a combat pilot, a test pilot, and a flight instructor during the First and Second World Wars. After the wars, he went on to cofound the BBC, where he was a writer, a producer, and a director. In 1938, he won the Oscar for cowriting the screen adaptation of George Bernard Shaw s "Pygmalion."
Samuel Hynes is the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature Emeritus at Princeton University and the author of a number of books, including his highly praise memoir, "Flights of Passage," the Robert F. Kennedy Award winning nonfiction book "The Soldier s Tale," and several major works of literary criticism. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cecil Lewis is above all gifted writer. He gives the reader a rare insight into the life of a young man during the first world war and shortly afterwards.
A "bit of a Poet" he tells us of his experience as he trains to be a pilot and then during active duty.
This memoir lets us see through his eyes what live was like. Perhaps we see it better for he has a keen eye for detail and is both sensitive and perceptive.
The flying and combat scenes are perhaps the best ever written.
Comment 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is possibly the best aircraft related war memoir I have ever read. Cecil Lewis is a wordsmith in his own right, he lived to be 98 and became a successful BBC broadcaster. He wrote this book later on in life, but not from an adult perspective only just how he fell at the time as a 17 year old youth joining the Royal Flying Corps. It's full of love for flying, full of passion and knowledge of the machines, full of feelings that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and make you laugh and cry as you read through this magnificent masterpiece of a memoir.
2 Comments 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
There are not many books which give first hand accounts of the air war in the first world war - there were not many who survived. Cecil Lewis was not only a survivor - against the odds - he was also a writer of talent. The backdrop which is provided of youthful exuberance, combined with the sense of duty, helps explain why young men continued to accept and face up to the near certainty of death. This is not just a book about the air war, it is a eulogy to a lost cast.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a number of good reviews but saw one that said the author lacked some clarity with certain events as he wrote the book too long after his experiences.

Undeterred I still purchased the book and have to say the point above is a valid one. The book is still worth reading, especially if you also watch the bbc.co.uk short clip recording of his post Great War interview (search under his name in iPlayer "The Great War Interviews" and you will see his recorded recollection are equally focussed in the book and well worth comparing with each other. Viewing the description of how he lost an Observer when a shell hit him and watching him get upset, then reading the same passage in the book brings an extra poignancy to the reading as you feel his sadness in the passage.

Other events recorded in the book feel less focussed, comments like "log book records a flight with observer XXXX I cannot even remember what he looked like, it is just a name. (Not an exact quote but you will spot the passage upon reading), do not help.

Even so, still worth reading, just do not expect too much. Currently reading Open Cockpit by Arthur Gould Lee which is better written and more focused so consider this book as well
1 Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I bought this because I was reading another book called Fighter Boys which is a well researched account of the development of the RAF leading up to a detailed account of the Battle of Britain. In the early stages of the book the author frequently cited Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis as one of the best accounts we have of flying in the first world war, and it certainly lives up to that description. Cecil Lewis joined the RFC as soon as he could in the very early stages of WW1 and seems to have led a charmed life, being on active service in the RFC as a pilot throughout the war, carrying out duties as an airborne observer for the artillery, flying photographic reconnaisance missions over enemy territory, and being involved in dogfights including encountering von Richtofen's circus. The book is punctuated with his philosphical musings about war and civilisation which are as relevant to-day as they were then. An excellent well written account which is also very informative on the rapid development of aviation technology during the war.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Ludovico Sforza VINE VOICE on 24 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did not think this was a great book, not a brilliant read either. The author admits at the start that he kept neither diary's or notes during the war and that what follows is based upon memory. For me there is too little on the actual business of fighting in the air and too much introspection and a desire on the author's part not to let the reader too far in. For example, there is no mention in the book that the Mr Lewis married a Russian girl in China after the war, a point I would have thought at least worth a mention. Rather we get a lot of strange, obscure sentences and the reader is left on their own to pull out whatever they may from the obscure sentences. I expected to read a straight forward account of the air war over France instead what one gets is something that reads a lot like "flight from Arras"; maybe the 2 authors were friends. Not really for me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fine book that I've been meaning to read for ages. I've only given it 3 stars not because it isn't as well written as others have suggested but because it should have been written earlier, when his memory was fresh. Instead we have, in my opinion, a rather sketchy attempt to capture those anguished times that young men hoped to survive.I wish he'd kept a diary!
Still it is a book that no doubt shouldn't be missed by any collector of genre.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback