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Bacon, Gertrude | Memories of Land and Sky

  • First edition of the memoirs of the first Englishwoman to fly. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “With the compliments of the author, Gertrude Foggitt, June 18 1930”.

    Gertrude Bacon (1874-1949) was the daughter of the scientist and balloonist Rev. John Maczenzie Bacon, and accompanied him on most of his expeditions. "Bacon became fascinated by flying and as a journalist reported on the various airships and planes being built." In August 1904 she became the first woman to fly in an airship, being a passenger in the near-disastrous first flight of an 84-foot-long ship designed by Stanley Spencer. "From 22 to 29 August, 1909, the world's first aviation meeting was held at Rheims, France. Bacon was determined to go for a ride in one of the new machines. On the last day she was taken up in a Farman plane, squeezed between the radiator and the pilot. She described the takeoff: 'The motion was wonderfully smooth - smoother yet - and then - ! Suddenly there had come into it a new indescribable quality - a lift - a lightness - a life!' Thus she became the first Englishwoman to fly" (International Women in Science: A Biographical Dictionary, p. 15). Bacon flew on several other occasions, and became the first ever hydroplane passenger at Lake Windermere in 1912. Bacon became Gertrude Foggett in 1929, when she married fellow botanist and chemist Thomas Jackson Foggitt.

  • ...With Twenty-Four Illustrations. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1928.

    Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt and to upper board in blind. 8-page publisher’s ads at rear. Portrait frontispiece and 15 plates from black and white photographs. Spine cocked, cloth rubbed at the extremities, occasional light spotting to contents. Very good condition.