BIGGLES OF 266
First Published in August 1956* - 184 pages
*My thanks go to Australian collectors Gary Krohn and Kim Miles for their research and this information
The first edition had red boards, no frontispiece and says “Kingston Library” on the spine.
The book title is in black. Internally, the book lists seven W. E. Johns’ titles and then book titles from “Son of Black Beauty” to “Nada the Lily”.
The dust wrapper has “Kingston Library” and “The Thames Publishing Co. London” on the spine
The first edition dust jacket showing the original price of 3 shillings and 6 pence
The Dean & Son reprint dust jacket – with probably the best artwork on a Biggles book – more information below
This contains nine short stories, eight of which were originally published in BIGGLES IN FRANCE (1935) The stories are:-
FORWARD (by W. E. Johns)
Shot down, Biggles escapes from behind the lines in a German observation balloon (dust cover).
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 335
Dated 7th July 1934 – as BIGGLES GOES BALLOONING
2. THE CAMERA
Colonel Raymond asks Biggles to recover a recognisance camera with a highly valuable lens.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 356
Dated 1st December 1934 – as BIGGLES AND THE FLYING CAMERA
3. THE PRIZE
266 and 287 squadrons compete to see who can drop propaganda leaflets the furthest over the lines.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 361
Dated 5th January 1935 – as BIGGLES’ PAPERCHASE
Biggles plays a trick on Wilkinson by arranging to have his kit dropped on a German aerodrome.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 362
Dated 12th January 1935 – as BIGGLES AND THE FLYING WARDROBE
5. THE TURKEY
Biggles is determined to obtain a turkey for the mess Christmas dinner.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 360
Dated 29th December 1934 – as BIGGLES CARVES THE TURKEY
Biggles seeks revenge after a plane with Green Streamers deliberately kills Parker.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 364
Dated 26th January 1935 – as FLYING CRUSADERS
When Algy gets into trouble with Captain Bitmore, Biggles pretends to be a Colonel.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 363
Dated 19th January 1935 – as BIGGLES’ BORROWED PLUMES
After Biggles blows up a German wine cellar, he is invited to pay for the wine or fight a duel.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 336
Dated 14th July 1934 – as BIGGLES AND THE RUNAWAY TANK
However only the first half of that story was used. The second half of the original story from ‘The Modern Boy’
had already become ‘Taffy Trundles In’ in the 1941 Biggles book ‘SPITFIRE PARADE’.
(N.B. This story was originally published in Biggles Learns to Fly in 1935 as 'The Spy in the Sky')
Biggles suspects a lost French pilot is not all that he seems to be.
This story was originally published in ‘The Modern Boy’ issue number 326
Dated 5th May 1934 – as SPY IN THE SKY
That story was originally collected into the “Boys’ Friend Library” first edition of BIGGLES LEARNS TO FLY
where it appeared as Chapter 7 entitled “The Lost Airman!” and Chapter 8 entitled “Snow and Bullets”
When Biggles Learns to Fly was reprinted by Hodder & Stoughton in 1955, this story was completely omitted because it had been used in ‘BIGGLES OF 266’
The dust cover of the book shows Biggles hanging by one hand from a German balloon, a scene from the first story of the book.
There are no story illustrations in this book
Biggles of 266
Publication Details - published by the Thames Publishing Co.
Frontispiece of the original edition
Cover of the First Edition Dustjacket
Click on either of the above to see them in more detail
Cover of the Dean & Son reprint – probably the best Biggles cover illustration ever (and my own personal first ever Biggles book!)
It is not known who the artist of this cover was – but an article from the October 2011 issue of Biggles Flies Again magazine HERE speculates it was PINO DELL’ ORCO due to a similar illustration
Click on either of the above book covers to see them in more detail