Friday, April 17, 2009

A Fascinating Memoir

One of the bonuses of doing historical research is discovering books that I would not normally have chosen to read for pleasure. One such is the memoir, Sagittarius Rising, by Cecil Lewis, in which he recounts his adventures as a British Ace pilot during the First World War. His descriptions are sometimes lyrical, especially when he portrays the exhilaration of flying. It makes me long to soar above the clouds with him, and I hate flying! Fortunately, my characters can experience that in my stead. In turns amusing and tragic, the book is always fascinating. The really telling line is his statement that when the war was over, he was twenty years old. 

I’m now interested in finding out more about Cecil Lewis, who died as recently as 1997. He flew with the RAF again in WW2, was a co-founder of the BBC, and won an Oscar for his joint-authorship of the screen adaptation of Pygmalion. Surely an interesting and perhaps charmed life!


  1. As a (still-current) history teacher and fellow Canadian author of historical fiction, I am really excited to have discovered this blog. Thank you for the article on Cecil Lewis and his work. I am not yet familiar with Gabrielle's Muskoka Novels, but intend to change that situation soon! My family's cottage is located at French River, so I am very familiar with the rugged beauty of Northern Ontario (it remains my favourite place to write). My new novel is entitled THE FUHRER VIRUS. It is a WWII spy/conspiracy/thriller for adult readers, and can be found at,, and

    Thank you!

    Paul Schultz

  2. Paul, you might be interested my my WW1 "Odd Facts" website. Several history teachers have told me they will be using it in their classrooms. The Coordinator of the "Lest We Forget" project at Library and Archives Canada will also be using it in her workshops with students. It's linked at the left - 4 Years of WW1. Best of luck with your own war novel!



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