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Richard Hillary's book The Last Enemy was first published in the UK in 1942 just seven months before his untimely death. It is an extraordinary first-hand account of the experiences a of a young man swept into the Battle of Britain as a Spitfire pilot.
The book is in two parts, beginning with his time at Trinity College, Oxford, where he was a successful oarsman and carefree student. Joining the RAF Volunteer Reserve he displayed an undisciplined approach towards flying training schools whilst making new acquaintances prompted some reappraisal of his attitude to life.
His descriptions of flying a Spitfire are gripping as we share both the horror and excitement of close combat in the air. Shot down over the English Channel on 3 September 1940 he is seriously burned and comes under the care of Archibald McIndoe and his pioneering reconstructive plastic surgery. He writes in graphic detail but with no self-pity of the operations and pain endured during his long stints in hospital at East Grinstead.
Towards the end of the book he eloquently portrays his inner struggles and relates an epiphany that inspired him to write this book.
The Last Enemy is undoubtedly one of the most important and compelling books to have been written during recent wars and will stay with you as you reflect on Hillary's short but eventful life.
Author: Richard Hillary
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.63d
Audience: 05 - 17
This title is not returnable
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