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  • Location: Cleethorpes, Filey, London

The Wild Air

The Wild Air

Why a Booktrail?

1909 – 1918: The birth of air travel and one woman who wanted to soar to new heights

  • ISBN: 978-1473604438
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.

Travel Guide

the wild air

The wonder of flying:

There were so many things you could see from the air that she couldn’t have imagined on the ground. The serpentine pattern of tractor tracks in fields, Sheep like polka dots. Lakes as small as silver puddles that glittered like brooches, and as they passed over them, she watched this sky moving past in the mirror of water, as if looking through a high window.

The patches of water looked like a cut-out from the paper of the ground. Hedgerows bled across the dark lines of field boundaries in black fringes

This wonder is increased by the fact that all her life Della has been told the role of women and what she is expected to do in life. Air travel is new and unexplored and for a woman, it’s even unthinkable that she would even be allowed to go near a plane let alone fly one. But Della is ahead of her time and her passion and drive to fly is unstoppable.

The world from the sky amazes now as it did then:

In fact the world from the air revealed itself to be a jigsaw, complete by a great hand from above….But what occurred to her most keenly was that the earth from up here was a map; that maps were simply what birds saw. …This was the way to travel, above the flattened still earth”

Cleethorpes

The world of aviation starts in Cleethorpes where many of the streets and locations in the novels are still there today including the Dolly Hotel. The manager is fictional but it’s the hotel which has a starring role in the novel.

The Age of Air Exploration:

Germany – Melli Beese was the first German woman to get her aviation licence

Belgium – Helene Dutrieu was known as the Girl Hawk

Claude Grahame White was a major personality of early aviation and features heavily in the novel.

Streetview Maps

A) Cleethorpes Kingsway
E) Lincoln - RAF Waddington

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I love Rebecca Mascull. She’s taken me to some fascinating places and introduced me to some fascinating people throughout history, but fresh off the boat with the female explorer Dawnay in her last novel, this novel takes the reader to new heights ( and yes pun is intended)

It’s a story of early aviation and the role of women within. The role of one woman – fictional but based on the greats who really pioneers in their field, is an amazing story of courage and determination. I felt each and every one of her heartbeats as she became even more excited about the possibility of flying. Her wonder at her first flight, fear, excitement and awe – I could feel it, taste it and live it with the exquisite writing and descriptions. I am in awe too of the research of this novel – jus enough to evoke the emotions of such an exciting and important time in our history but not so much that it overshadows the achievements and human side to the women who we now revere.

This secret world of the skies – was as much a wonder to me as it was to Della. I didn’t know anything about this subject nor the women who had made it possible but this is one fascinating history lesson. They should teach this book in schools and get the children to feel history – as THIS is what it must have felt like to live it. Della fights on two fronts –  against the constraints of Edwardian society and against the male dominated world of aviation.
I was swept along by the story and did the loop de loop of emotions along with Della. Her story is one of hope and determination and that we can soar as far as we set our minds too. The world of aviation and the world  seen from the sky, “this was the way to travel, above the flattened still earth” evokes the excitement of plane travel and the thrill of early exploration takes you along for the ride.

Once war starts however, everything changes. I held my breath at points and just hoped that Della would get through this – I had followed her this far I wasn’t going to be happy if this was the end! – That’s how immersed and captivated this book made me. I now have the urge to go on a flight as soon as possible – I’m going to have a new found respect for the genius involved in the pilots who have gone before.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Wild Air

Author/Guide:Rebecca Mascull Destination: Cleethorpes, Filey, London  Departure Time: Early 1900s

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