Wednesday, January 20, 2010

THE PROBLEM OF THE MISSING HOYDEN: review


It's the Summer of 1885 in the English seaside town of Brighton, Arthur Conan Doyle is on his honeymoon and Charles Dodgson (aka "Lewis Carroll") is supposed to be at the railway station to pick up his young charge, the daughter of a prominent parliamentarian, entrusted into his care. A girl falls beneath the wheels; was it an accident, or was she pushed? So begins a thoroughly entertaining and well written "what if" tale of mystery and detection. Roberta Rogow is an author new to me but I shall be seeking out her other novels in this series. Highly recommended.

BIGGLES, the 1960 Granada TV series.


Nevile Whiting as "Biggles", John Leyton as "Ginger" and David Drummond as "Bertie" in "Biggles", the 1960 Granada TV series.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

THE BIGGLES BOOKS in READING order

01. The Boy Biggles 1968
02. Biggles Goes to School 1951
03. Biggles Learns to Fly 1935
04. Biggles in France 1935
05. Biggles of 266 1956
06. Biggles of the Camel Squadron 1934
07. Biggles Flies East 1935
08. The Rescue Flight 1939
09. The Camels are Coming 1932
10. Biggles Pioneer Air Fighter 1954
11. Biggles & the Cruise of the Condor 1933
12. Biggles Flies Again 1934
13. Biggles & the Black Peril 1935
14. Biggles Hits the Trail 1935
15. Biggles & Co. 1936
16. Biggles in Africa 1936
17. Biggles Air Commodore 1937
18. Biggles Flies West 1937
19. Biggles Flies South 1938
20. Biggles Goes to War 1938
21. Biggles in the South Seas 1940
22. Biggles in the Jungle 1942
23. Biggles in Spain 1939
24. Biggles Flies North 1938
25. Biggles Secret Agent 1940
26. Biggles in the Baltic 1940
27. Biggles Sees It through 1941
28. Biggles Defies the Swastika 1941
29. Spitfire Parade 1941
30. Biggles "Fails to Return" 1943
31. Biggles Sweeps the Desert 1942
32. Biggles in Borneo 1943
33. Biggles in the Orient 1945
34. Biggles Delivers the Goods 1946
35. Comrades in Arms 1947
36. Sergeant Bigglesworth C.I.D. 1947
37. Biggles Second Case 1948
38. Biggles Hunts Big Game 1948
39. Biggles Takes a Holiday 1949
40. Biggles Breaks the Silence/in the Antarctic 1949
41. Biggles Gets his Men 1950
42. Another Job for Biggles 1951
43. Biggles Works It Out 1951
44. Biggles Takes the Case 1952
45. Biggles Follows On 1952
46. Biggles Air Detective 1952
47. Biggles & the Black Raider 1953
48. Biggles in the Blue 1953
49. Biggles in the Gobi 1953
50. Biggles of the Special Air Police 1953
51. Biggles Cuts It Fine 1954
52. Biggles & the Pirate Treasure 1954
53. Biggles Foreign Legionnaire 1954
54. Biggles in Australia 1955
55. Biggles Chinese Puzzle 1955
56. No Rest for Biggles 1956
57. Biggles Takes Charge 1956
58. Biggles Makes Ends Meet 1957
59. Biggles of the Interpol 1957
60. Biggles on the Home Front 1957
61. Biggles Presses On 1958
62. Biggles on Mystery Island 1958
63. Biggles Buries a Hatchet 1958
64. Biggles in Mexico 1959
65. Biggles Combined Operation 1959
66. Biggles at World's End 1959
67. Biggles & the Leopards of Zinn 1960
68. Biggles Goes Home 1960
69. Biggles & the Poor Rich Boy 1961
70. Biggles Forms a Syndicate 1961
71. Biggles & the Missing Millionaire 1961
72. Biggles Goes Alone 1962
73. Orchids for Biggles 1962
74. Biggles Sets a Trap 1962
75. Biggles Takes it Rough 1963
76. Biggles Takes a hand 1963
77. Biggles Special Case 1963
78. Biggles & the Plane That Disappe’d 1963
79. Biggles Flies to Work 1963
80. Biggles & the Lost Sovereigns/Treasure 1964
81. Biggles & the Black Mask 1964
82. Biggles Investigates 1965
83. Biggles & the Plot that Failed 1965
84. Biggles Looks Back 1965
85. Biggles & the Blue Moon 1965
86. Biggles Scores a Bull 1965
87. Biggles in the Terai 1966
88. Biggles & the Gun Runners 1966
89. Biggles Sorts It Out 1967
90. Biggles & the Dark Intruder 1967
91. Biggles & the Penitent Thief 1967
92. Biggles & the Deep Blue Sea 1968
93. Biggles in the Underworld 1968
94. Biggles & the Little Green God 1969
95. Biggles & the Noble Lord 1969
96. Biggles Sees Too Much 1970
97. Biggles Does Some Homework 1997
Biggles Charter Pilot 1943
(Set during WW2 but not war stories)
Biggles of the Royal Flying Corps 1978
(A combination of earlier books)
Biggles - Air Ace 1998
(Short stories)

W E JOHNS' major works in alphabetical order

Adventure Bound 1955
Adventure Unlimited 1957
Adventures of the Junior Detective Club 1960
Air VC'S 1935
Another Job for Biggles 1951
Biggles in Africa 1936
Biggles "Fails to Return" 1943
Biggles & Co. 1936
Biggles & the Black Mask 1964
Biggles & the Black Raider 1953
Biggles & the Blue Moon 1965
Biggles & the Dark Intruder 1967
Biggles & the Deep Blue Sea 1968
Biggles & the Gun Runners 1966
Biggles & the Leopards of Zinn 1960
Biggles & the Little Green God 1969
Biggles & the Lost Sovereigns/Treasure 1964
Biggles & the Missing Millionaire 1961
Biggles & the Noble Lord 1969
Biggles & the Penitent Thief 1967
Biggles & the Pirate Treasure 1954
Biggles & the Plane That Disappeared 1963
Biggles & the Plot that Failed 1965
Biggles & the Poor Rich Boy 1961
Biggles Air Commodore 1937
Biggles Air Detective 1952
Biggles at World's End 1959
Biggles Book of Heroes 1959
Biggles Book of Treasure Hunting 1962
Biggles Breaks the Silence/in the Antarctic 1949
Biggles Buries a Hatchet 1958
Biggles Charter Pilot 1943
Biggles Chinese Puzzle 1955
Biggles Combined Operation 1959
Biggles Cuts It Fine 1954
Biggles Defies the Swastika 1941
Biggles Delivers the Goods 1946
Biggles Does Some Homework 1997 gb Printed in a limited edition of 300 plus a number of unnumbered 'test' copies.
Biggles Flies Again 1934
Biggles Flies East 1935
Biggles Flies North 1938
Biggles Flies South 1938
Biggles Flies to Work 1963
Biggles Flies West 1937
Biggles Flying Omnibus 1940
Biggles Follows On 1952
Biggles Foreign Legionnaire 1954
Biggles Forms a Syndicate 1961
Biggles Gets his Men 1950
Biggles Goes Alone 1962
Biggles Goes Home 1960
Biggles Goes to School 1951
Biggles Goes to War 1938
Biggles Hits the Trail 1935
Biggles Hunts Big Game 1948
Biggles in Africa 1936
Biggles in Australia 1955
Biggles in Borneo 1943
Biggles in France 1935
Biggles in Mexico 1959
Biggles in Spain 1939
Biggles in the Antarctic 1970
Biggles in the Baltic 1940
Biggles in the Blue 1953
Biggles in the Gobi 1953
Biggles in the Jungle 1942
Biggles in the Orient 1945
Biggles in the South Seas 1940
Biggles in the Terai 1966
Biggles in the Underworld 1968
Biggles Investigates 1965
Biggles Learns to Fly 1935
Biggles Looks Back 1965
Biggles Makes Ends Meet 1957
Biggles of 266 1956
Biggles of the Camel Squadron 1934
Biggles of the Interpol 1957
Biggles of the Royal Flying Corps 1978
Biggles of the Special Air Police 1953
Biggles Omnibus 1938
Biggles on Mystery Island 1958
Biggles on the Home Front 1957
Biggles Pioneer Airfighter 1954
Biggles Presses On 1958
Biggles Scores a Bull 1965
Biggles Second Case 1948 Biggles Secret Agent 1940
Biggles Sees It through 1941
Biggles Sees Too Much 1970
Biggles Sets a Trap 1962
Biggles Sorts It Out 1967
Biggles Special Case 1963
Biggles Sweeps the Desert 1942
Biggles Takes a hand 1963
Biggles Takes a Holiday 1949
Biggles Takes Charge 1956
Biggles Takes it Rough 1963
Biggles Takes the Case 1952
Biggles Third Omnibus 1941
Biggles Works It Out 1951
Black Peril: A Biggles Story 1935
Blue Blood Runs Red 1936
Boy Biggles 1968
Camels are Coming 1932
Champion of the Main 1938
Comrades in Arms 1947
Cruise of the Condor: A Biggles Story1933
Death Rays of Ardilla 1959
Desert Night: A Romance 1938
Doctor Vane Answers the Call 1950
Edge of Beyond 1958
Fighting Planes & Aces 1932
Gimlet Bores In 1959
Gimlet Comes Home 1946
Gimlet Gets the Answer 1952
Gimlet Goes Again 1944
Gimlet Lends a Hand 1949
Gimlet Mops up 1947
Gimlet Off the Map 1951
Gimlet Takes a Job 1954
Gimlet's Oriental Quest 1948
King of the Commandos 1943
Kings of Space 1954
Man Who Lost His Way 1960
Man Who Vanished Into Space 1963
Missing Page, The 1942
Modern Boys book of Aircraft 1931
Modern Boy's Book of Pirates 1939
Mossyface 1932
Murder at Castle Deeping 1938
Murder by Air 1937
No Motive for Murder 1958
No Rest for Biggles 1956
Now to the Stars 1956
Orchids for Biggles 1962
Passing Show 1937
Pictorial flying course 1932
Quest for the Perfect Planet 1961
Raid, The 1935
Rescue Flight: A Biggles Story 1939
Return to Mars 1955
Rustlers of Rattlesnake Valley 1948
Sergeant Bigglesworth C.I.D. 1947
Short Sorties 1950
Sinister Service 1942
Sky Fever & other stories 1953
Sky High 1951
Some Milestones in Aviation 1935
Spitfire Parade (Biggles) 1941
Spy Flyers 1933
Steely Flies Again 1951
Third Biggles Omnibus 1940
Thrilling Flights (edited by) c1935
To Outer Space 1957
To Worlds Unknown 1960
Unknown Quantity 1940
Where the Golden Eagle Soars 1960
Wings Flying Adventure
Wings of Romance: A Steeley Adventure 1939
Worlds of Wonder 1962
Worrals Carries On 1942
Worrals Down Under 1948
Worrals Flies Again 1942
Worrals Goes Afoot 1949
Worrals Goes East 1944
Worrals in the Wastelands 1949
Worrals in the Wilds 1947
Worrals Investigates 1950
Worrals of the Islands: 1945
Worrals of the W.A.A.F. 1941
Worrals on the War-Path 1943

Biggles - a concise biography of the character

BIGGLES, as he would soon come to be known on every corner of this planet, was born in India in 1899. His proud father was then the Assistant Commissioner of the United Provinces of India, with the result that young James learnt the ways of bush survival at an early age, and could handle a rifle well at the tender age of seven. Unfortunately, he contracted a fever which was to dog him not only through his childhood in India but later on whenever he visited the tropics. At the age of fourteen, Biggles commenced schooling at his father's old school, Malton Hall, in rural England, a school primarily for lads destined for the British Army. Biggles' elder brother Charles had also attended Malton before entering Sandhurst. (Charles, with the rank of Major, was to die under enemy fire just before the end of the war.)

Although Biggles' father intended that the lad should go to university and study for the Indian civil service exam, the Great War arrived. Biggles quickly found himself in Norfolk at No 77 Flying Training School. After a number of adventures, he was posted to Maranique with 266 Squadron, via 169. It wasn't long before his brilliant abilities in the air saw his elevation to Captain Bigglesworth, flawless saint as portrayed in the reprinted stories of the 1950s and 60s. Although fearless in any crisis, Biggles sometimes took to the bottle briefly to dull tragic occurrences (of which there were many in those violent days). Late in the war he had a brief encounter with Marie Janis, a Belgian lass who proved to be a German spy. Biggles' cousin, the Honourable Algernon Lacey, ALGY from this point on joined 266 in 1917. The two became inseparable companions despite early misgivings on Biggles' part, with the result that they formed a chartering operation, Biggles & Co, after the War.

It was not long before GINGER (first seen as a 16 year old lad in The Black Peril in 1935) came on the scene. WW2 arrived and the threesome, together with Smyth, their mechanic, formed Z Squadron, then 666. Early on in the war while on a secret mission in Norway, Biggles found himself surrounded by the invading forces and actually managed to join the Luftwaffe in order to escape. After further adventures, and with the war over, Biggles, Algy, Ginger and a new arrival, Bertie, scored jobs in the Special Air Police. Biggles' adversary throughout his career was Erich von Stalhein, first with Germany and later with 'the other side' as it was termed in those days. Approximately 103 Biggles books were published in the period 1932-1970. This included several omnibus editions which contained more than one novel, but not the later R.F.C., Bumper and Best Of, titles.

Several of the books relating Biggles' wartime exploits comprised short stories which originally appeared either in Popular Flying (a monthly magazine) or The Modern Boy storypaper weekly of the 1930s. The first book, published by John Hamilton in 1932, was The Camels Are Coming. The Cruise of the Condor, Biggles of the Camel Squadron, Biggles Flies Again, and The Black Peril followed over the next few years from the same publisher. Biggles Learns to Fly appeared in a pocket library (The Boys' Friend) in 1935, as did Biggles in France.

Oxford University Press took over as Johns' publisher for the next eight years with Biggles Hits the Trail; Biggles in Borneo was their last in 1943. Biggles Fails to Return came out from Hodder & Stoughton in the same year. Brockhampton, Dean, Thames and even Marks and Spencer shared the publishing from the 1950s with H&S. Some titles appeared from more than one publisher, some of course being printed many times.

Artist Howard Leigh provided most of the fine jacket and frontispiece illustrations for the OUP titles before Leslie Stead took over with the change of publishers to H&S. One title worthy of note was the 1942 edition of 'Biggles in the Jungle'. The brilliant illustrations came from the hands of famed transport artist Terence Cuneo. With the rapid rise of interest in Johns' works, a number of clubs (and thus magazines) have appeared. The best of these was Biggles & Co, an A5 size quarterly.

Quite a few of the titles were reprinted in paperback. Cheap laminated editions were also published by Dean, but these should not be confused with some of the later titles which came out in both laminated (without dust jacket) and standard cloth (with dustjacket). As one writer said in an article on the Biggles books, figuring out who published what, when, first, etc, is a minefield.