BIGGLES AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Book First Published in February 1968 - 184 pages
I believe this Biggles book was never serialised elsewhere. If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME
The first edition dust jacket showing the original price of 10 shillings and 6 pence
Biggles is sent to Jean Bonney Island in the Bay of Bengal, to investigate possible interference with this British sovereign territory. Taking Algy with him, Biggles flies out in his Gadfly aircraft and lands on a lagoon on the island. Here they find a man named Clarence Collingwood who is hostile towards them. He claims to be a biologist. Getting little information out of Collingwood, Biggles is suspicious as to why he is alone on the island but not interested in being rescued. Returning to the lagoon to spend the night, Biggles and Algy are attacked by a Giant Squid. After another confrontation with Collingwood, the Gadfly is cut adrift and Biggles realises there must be a fourth person on the island as well. Biggles searches the small island and finds hashish growing, a notorious narcotic. He discovers an Arab who he later finds out is called Ali. Biggles also discovers what appears to be a man made cave. Meanwhile Algy has some trouble with a shark and has to move the aircraft, losing the anchor in the process. Later, Biggles dives down to recover the anchor and this is the picture on the dust cover of the book, together with a picture of an Arab boat called a dhow. Biggles decides to cut down the hashish crop to destroy it. Returning to the plane, because a storm is brewing, Biggles notices an Arab dhow approaching. However, the storm is preventing it from landing on the island. Biggles finds Algy trying to strap the plane down and, much to his surprise, being helped by Collingwood. All three of them return to Collingwood's hut to take shelter from the terrible storm. Collingwood explains that the drugs belong to the Arabs and are nothing to do with him. He is there to mine opals. Collingwood thinks the Arabs will kill them, because of what Biggles has done to their drug crop. After the storm, they all go to look for Ali and find that he has been buried in the cave, which was an opal mine. They manage to dig him out alive. Biggles and Algy have to repair their storm-damaged aircraft. The next morning, the Arabs in the dhow attempt to land, but the landing party is attacked by a Giant Squid and only one man makes it ashore alive. Algy discovers Collingwood has been murdered during the night and it is obvious that Ali has done it to steal his opals. Biggles goes to confront Ali and finds that the newly arrived Arab has killed him and stolen the opals himself. Chasing after the Arab, the man escapes by swimming the lagoon only to meet justice in the jaws of the shark. The Arabs land, but having seen the shark attack their comrade, they don't blame Biggles or Algy for all of the deaths. The Arabs kill the shark and find the opals inside it but their dhow is wrecked on the coral reef. Biggles and Algy return home reflecting on why opals are considered to be unlucky.
There are no story illustrations in this book
Biggles and the Deep Blue Sea
Publication Details - published by Brockhampton Press
You will note that on the dust wrapper above, the correct price for the true first edition dust wrapper is 10 shillings and 6 pence.
It would appear that the first edition book did not sell out – and was issued again in two different later dust wrappers. Note the new price of 12/ (60p) and then a third style dust wrapper showing just the 60p price below
There was also a laminated edition
Click on the above to see it in more detail
W. E. Johns own presentation copy (now in my private collection)
These pages are the hand written title and chapter pages and the actual handwritten manuscript of the first chapter of the original book
BIGGLES IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Note the corrections and amendments and how few there are.
Signed first edition of Biggles and the Deep Blue Sea (believed to be taken from W. E. Johns own book shelf)