RALEIGH AND JONES’ THE WAR IN THE AIR, 1922-28 FIRST EDITIONS OF THE FIRST TWO VOLUMES, IN SCARCE ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS
(WORLD WAR I) RALEIGH, Walter, and JONES, Henry Arthur. The War in the Air. Being the Story of the Part Played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1922-28. Two volumes. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jackets. $600.
First edition of the first two volumes of Raleigh’s analytical history of the Royal Air Force’s contribution during the First World War (continued by Jones after Raleigh’s untimely death), with numerous folding maps printed in color. In scarce original dust jackets.
“Raleigh was able to complete only the first volume of The War in the Air, but it remains his longest work. It was his first experience of writing history on a large scale. The assistance of a skilled staff in sifting details and explaining technicalities enabled him to work with sustained zest. ‘The writer of this history,’ he said in his preface, ‘has endeavored to make his narrative intelligible to those who, like himself, are outsiders.’ It is the most readable of official histories, and it contains some of his best writing. His style is here at its simplest, but the fervor of his admiration for the heroism of the air is everywhere apparent, and finds memorable expression in the introduction. The volume was published a few weeks after his death” (DNB). Jones eventually completed the work, which reached seven volumes. These first two volumes cover preparations for the war, and the R.A.F.’s participation in this new “war in the air” through 1916. Volume III was published in 1931; the remaining four volumes were published between 1934-37. As each volume was issued separately over the course of 15 years, it is not uncommon to find earlier volumes offered without the later.
Mild discoloration to original cloth. Original dust jackets, rarely found, in near-fine condition.