BIGGLES IN FRANCE

“The Wartime Exploits of a Famous Flying Ace”

by Flying Officer W. E. Johns

First Published in PAPERBACK in the Boys' Friend Library Issue No. 501 - dated 7th November 1935 (and actually printed on Thursday 7th November 1935)

 – 96 pages (plus the four pages created by the front and rear covers) - The Biggles story runs from Pages 1 to 92.  Book measures 7 inches by 5.5 inches.

FOR DETAILED PHOTOGRAPHS OF THIS ULTRA RARE BOOK CLICK HERE

 

First published in HARDBACK by Norman Wright in 2009 (with copies of the original illustrations from "The Modern Boy") - 192 pages

 

This contained 12 short stories in 25 chapters, all of which had originally been published in "The Modern Boy" between July 1934 and January 1935.

Six of these World War One stories were subsequently rewritten and published as World War Two stories in SPITFIRE PARADE (1941)

and eight of them were republished under different titles in BIGGLES OF 266 (1956)

The stories are:-

 

 

Chapter 1 – DOWN TO EARTH (Pages 1 – 5) & Chapter 2 - A DESPERATE CHANCE!  (Pages 5 – 9)

Shot down, Biggles escapes from behind the lines in a German observation balloon.

This story was originally "Biggles Goes Ballooning" and was first published in issue number 335 of "The Modern Boy" dated 7th July 1934

(This story was called A RIDE TO REMEMBER in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 3 – ONE BOMB AND TWO POCKETS (Pages 9 – 14) & Chapter 4 - 'STAND CLEAR – I’M COMING!'  (Pages 14 – 17)

After Biggles blows up a German wine cellar, he is invited to pay for the wine or fight a duel.

The story then continues with Biggles trying out a captured German tank and wreaking havoc

This story was originally "Biggles and the Runaway Tank" and was first published in issue number 336 of "The Modern Boy" dated 14th July 1934

(The first part of this story was called THE CHALLENGE in BIGGLES OF 266 and the rest cut became "Taffy Trundles In" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 CLICK HERE TO SEE AN EXAMPLE OF CHANGES MADE TO THIS STORY

 

 

Chapter 5 – BIGGLES GETS A BULL (Pages 17 – 19) & Chapter 6 – LOST IN THE SKY  (Pages 19 – 24)

After Biggles goes flying in bad weather, he is forced to land in a field and charged by a bull.

Later in a French farmhouse he meets a jealous French pilot who takes him on a ride to remember.

This story was originally "Flying Luck" and was first published in issue number 337 of "The Modern Boy" dated 21st July 1934

(This was rewritten as "The Arrival of Angus" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 

 

Chapter 7 – THE HUMAN RAILWAY (Pages 24 – 26) & Chapter 8 – ORANGE FIRE!  (Pages 26 – 30)

Clarence Forbes joins 266 squadron and he has a talent for mimicking machines.

Biggles takes Clarence on a flight over the lines and discovers that Forbes also has other talents.

This story was originally "Biggles and the Mad Hatter" and was first published in issue number 338 of "The Modern Boy" dated 28th July 1934

(This was rewritten as "Cuthbert Comes and Goes" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 

 

Chapter 9 – OUT FOR RECORDS! (Pages 31 – 35) & Chapter 10 – BIGGLES’ BOMBSHELL!  (Pages 35 – 38)

Biggles and Wilkinson compete to see who can shoot down the most Germans in one day.

This story was originally "Biggles' Sky High Hat Trick" and was first published in issue number 339 of "The Modern Boy" dated 4th August 1934

(This was rewritten as "The Record Breakers" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 

 

Chapter 11 – THE CAMERA & Chapter 12 (Pages 38 – 40) & THUMBS TO NOSES! (Pages 41 – 43) & Chapter 13 – WHAT A BULLET DID  (Pages 43 – 46)

Colonel Raymond asks Biggles to recover a recognisance camera with a highly valuable lens.

This story was originally "Biggles and the Flying Camera" and was first published in issue number 356 of "The Modern Boy" dated 1st December 1934

(This story was called THE CAMERA in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 14 – SUSPICIONS (Pages 45 – 51) & Chapter 15 – OFF AND AWAY!  (Pages 51 – 55)

Biggles suspects that a visiting Canadian pilot is really a German spy. A trap is set, but all is not as it seems and it is left to Algy to save Biggles from making a tragic mistake.

This story was originally "Biggles Sky High Spy" and was first published in issue number 357 of "The Modern Boy" dated 8th December 1934

(This was rewritten as "The Flying Spy" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 

 

Chapter 16 – TURKEY HUNTING (Pages 55 – 59) & Chapter 17 – BIGGLES GETS THE BIRD  (Pages 59 – 62)

Biggles is determined to obtain a turkey for the mess Christmas dinner.

This story was originally "Biggles Carves the Turkey" and was first published in issue number 360 of "The Modern Boy" dated 29th December 1934

(This story was called THE TURKEY in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 18 - A SPORTING OFFER! (Pages 62 – 67) & Chapter 19 – GETTING A GRAMOPHONE  (Pages 67 – 71)

266 and 287 squadrons compete to see who can drop propaganda leaflets the furthest over the lines

This story was originally "Biggles' Paperchase" and was first published in issue number 361 of "The Modern Boy" dated 5th January 1935

(This story was called THE PRIZE in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 20 – TWELVE THOUSAND FEET UP! (Pages 72 – 74) & Chapter 21 – RETURNED UNKNOWN  (Pages 74 – 78)

Biggles plays a trick on Wilkinson by arranging to have his kit dropped on a German aerodrome.

This story was originally "Biggles and the Flying Wardrobe" and was first published in issue number 362 of "The Modern Boy" dated 12th January 1935

(This story was called HUMBUGS in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 22 - 'HE SHOT HIM TO BITS!' (Pages 78 – 83) & Chapter 23 - 'WRITTEN OFF'  (Pages 83 – 86)

Biggles seeks revenge after a plane with Green Streamers deliberately kills Parker.

This story was originally "Flying Crusaders" and was first published in issue number 364 of "The Modern Boy" dated 26th January 1935

(This story was called WAR IN HOT BLOOD in BIGGLES OF 266)

 

 

Chapter 24 – UNDER OPEN ARREST! (Pages 86 – 90) & Chapter 25 - 'THE LAUGH’S WITH US!'  (Pages 90 – 92)

When Algy gets into trouble with Captain Bitmore, Biggles pretends to be a Colonel.

This story was originally "Biggles Borrowed Plumes" and was first published in issue number 363 of "The Modern Boy" dated 19th January 1935

(This story was called REPRISALS in BIGGLES OF 266 and also became "One Good Turn" in SPITFIRE PARADE)

 

(Pages 93 and 97 consist of adverts, Pages 94 and 95 are “What did you think of this book?” with some readers letters, Pages 96 and 98 are “Two Knights of the Air”)

 

NB - It should be noted that the editor of the Boys' Friend Library decided to swap the order of the last two stories - no doubt to finish on a lighter note!

 

Biggles in France

Publication Details - originally published by the Boys Friend Library - No. 501 (dated 7th November 1935)

 

Biggles in France BFL

 

Biggles in France

 

 Cover of the 2009 first hardback edition (painted by Andrew Skilleter)

Click on the above pictures to see them in more detail

 

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