Samples of both books arrived this week and they look great. Both titles were delivered to our distributors this morning so the despatch of all pre-orders will start today. Please bear in mind we have about 400 to get through so give us a few days!
We are delighted to say that Luftwaffe Crash Archive 6 and 303 Squadron Volume One arrived into our storage facility today. Tomorrow morning (Friday) the first 500 copies will be delivered to Bookworld our distribution company for them to start sending the first pre-orders out. Also arriving with them tomorrow will be Volumes 2, 3 and 4 of the Luftwaffe Aces series which means that all the advance orders for the full limited edition sets will start to be despatched from Monday morning. With well over 400 orders to attend to, Bookworld will be working hard next week to get all the pre-orders out as soon as possible, so please bear with us for a few days!
Just to update everyone that the limited edition of the Luftwaffe Aces books is now sold out. Volume One is still available to order of course and within the next two weeks we wll make it possible to order a standard set of four books as one order.
The pre-ordered limited edition sets are scheduled to be sent out with the signature plates from around 20th November.
A quick check of the pre-orders for the signed limited edition four volume set of Luftwaffe Aces reveals that we only have 13 left for preorder as of tonight, Saturday 1st November. So if you’re thinking of ordering a set we strongly recommend you do it now as they’ll probably be sold-out by the end of next week.
We’ve just uploaded the two new books to the website ready for pre-ordering. If you click on the banner heading above it will take you to the forthcoming books section where you’ll find them both plus a special offer to buy the two books together for just £40. Check out the sample pages from both books on their respective pages. The 303 Squadron book really is something special with nearly 200 pages full of nearly 300 rare original wartime photos. The author Wojtek Matusiak is one of the most respected Polish aviation historians and has gathered this material from far and wide over many years. Volume One includes the Battle of Britain period and finally provides for the first time, the real reason for the red fuselage stripes that appeared on some of the Hurricanes in mid-September 1940.
We have just completed the design of both of these exciting new books and will have them on the website ready for pre-ordering this week. Publication date is likely to be around 15th November.
We’ve managed to identify and fix the cause of the missing pages in the batch of Volume Ones that went out last week. The book will therefore be reprinted and should be available within two or three weeks. For those of you who have ordered just Volume One, your book will be sent in early November. If you have already received one of the faulty copies, please feel free to use it as a door stop or recycle it somehow!
For those of you who have ordered the limited edition set of four, we will now endeavour to deliver all four books to you by mid to late November. We understand that many of you have already received the first volume with one signature plate attached. This was a mistake by our distributors who were clearly briefed to send all four signature plates unattached in an envelope. We will follow this up in due course with them and make sure four plates and four books are dleivered to you all in November.
We can only apologise again for this technical problem, hopefully the series will prove to have been worth waiting for!
We’ve discovered that some of the first batch of Luftwaffe Aces Volume Ones that have just gone out have page 297 – 316 missing. If this includes you, don’t worry, we’re aware of the situation and will get the books reprinted as soon as possible. We’ll post more about this at the weekend when we can get a new production schedule confirmed. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Today we uploaded to the website the first volume of our new series ‘Luftwaffe Aces – Biographies and Victory Claims’ by Johannes Mathews and John Foreman. This incredible piece of work spans four large volumes with over 1500 pages in total and features every Luftwaffe pilot who claimed five or more victories. (Over 2500 men in total).
The first Volume is at the printers now and will be with us by 10th October. The other three Volumes are all complete and will be printed on a monthly basis from November 2014 through to January 2015. As an incentive to sign up for the series as a whole, we’ve produced a limited edition of 100 sets of four bookplates each one signed by a Luftwaffe Ace. This limited edition set of books + bookplates is now available for pre-order, simply click on the banner at the top of the page or go to our ‘forthcoming Books’ tab.
We were all saddened to hear of the death of Lettice Curtis last week as her autobiography was one of the first books that we published as Red Kite. Simon Parry had known her for many years and here is his personal tribute to a remarkable woman.
A Personal Tribute
It’s always a sad day when someone you have known passes away, and so it was when I heard that Lettice had died last week.
A fine obituary can be found here:
But what was she really like?
We first met in the late 1980s when I helped her overcome some problems reprinting ‘Forgotten Pilots’ her history of the ATA. Typically ‘annoyed’ with incompetent publishers, Lettice decided that she would do it herself. She possessed a keen a memory and telephoned me some years later, ‘I want a publisher for my next book and want you to do it.’ For some reason, she seemed to ‘tolerate’ me more than most; and for Lettice to ‘tolerate’ you was as good as you got. She was a woman who did not tolerate fools gladly – in fact she did not tolerate them at all!
Thus ‘commanded’ I published her biography of the Duchess of Bedford ‘ Winged Odyssey’ and she arranged a book signing at Duke and Duchess of Bedford’s estate at Woburn Abbey to coincide with the annual Moth Club event. In these elegant surroundings she was engaged in conversation by one of the pilots who had flown his Tiger Moth into the small grass airstrip.
“It’s very tricky on finals here isn’t it”, he said, “not much room to get down. ”
Then he made his mistake by asking if she had ever landed there.
“Yes, many times – but I was flying Halifaxes – and the landing strip was much smaller then.”
With that, the Moth pilot was dismissed.
Lettice struck fear into anyone who picked up the phone – when she called there was never any doubt who was speaking, or that you would do exactly as she bid. So it was that I was ‘commanded’ to publish her autobiography. I made many visits to her bungalow near Reading while I tried to make sense of the box of papers, cuttings and photographs that constituted her manuscript. Among the photographs was a magnificent 10×8 of her standing next to a belly-landed Mosquito that appeared to have had a mishap after the undercarriage had been accidentally raised; so I asked Lettice what the story behind it was. She took the photograph, considered it for a while, then pronounced, “That never happened” and put it into a draw.
Below is a photo of Lettice signing copies of her autobiography several years ago. The hardback edition sold out but we still have copies of the softback reprint, it really is a remarkable story of a pioneering woman in a male dominated industry.
Click on the photo for more details;