The High-Flying Duchess. Mary Du Caurroy Bedford 1865-1937

BUXTON, Meriel. The High-Flying Duchess. Mary Du Caurroy Bedford 1865-1937.

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BUXTON, Meriel. The High-Flying Duchess. Mary Du Caurroy Bedford 1865-1937 [King's Lynn, Woodperry Books, 2008].

4to. Original boards with illustrated dust-wrappers (not price-clipped); pp. 259; highly illustrated throughout, fine.
First edition, signed by the author on title-page and with loosely inserted letter on Bedford House stationery mentioning this recently published book and thanking one Mr Harley for having had a look at the Flying Duchess' Rolls Royce. 'Member of the Society of Radiographers; made record flight to India and back (1929) and to the Cape and back (1930)' (V&A website, describing her Victorian court dress). After a remarkable medical, hospital management, and nursing career during WWI and after 'the duchess had for a long time wanted to learn to fly. In June 1926, at the age of sixty, she took her first flight and began to receive instruction as a pilot. Flights with a co-pilot, Captain Barnard, to India in 1928 and 1929 and to South Africa in 1930, the last two being record flights, were regarded as pioneer ventures in travel by air. She gained her pilot's licence in 1933. The duchess died in an aeroplane accident off the east coast of Britain on 22 March 1937' (ODNB).

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