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A Spitfire Named Connie
Letters from a North Africa Ace - a Tale of Triumph and Tragedy
The poignant story of ‘Robbie’ Robertson’s two wartime love affairs – with flying and with the schoolgirl he eventually marries. Told mainly in his own words, through hundreds of his original letters, it has the excitement of a novel. This prequel to Fighters in the Blood paints an intimate and authentic picture of life, love and loss in a bygone era. In many ways it was an age of innocence. A time when language was restrained, when emotions were understated – and when all too many relationships ended in tragedy.
‘A different viewpoint’ – 5 stars
‘Social history and a tale of war wrapped up in a love story’ – 5 stars
‘A special book . . . ‘ – 5 stars
‘A fabulous account of wartime romance and service’ – 5 stars
‘Another great book from Black Robertson’ – 5 stars
‘A fascinating story of love and heroism’ – 5 stars
‘Fascinating and moving read!’ – 5 stars
‘A compelling account of war revealed through deeply personal correspondence’ – 5 stars
‘An eagerly awaited follow up to Fighters in the Blood’ – 5 stars
Pen & Sword
‘A delightful read that avoids the pitfalls of a simple chronology of letters by dividing the story into two parts, presenting the interwoven parts in a manner that highlights a sudden change of fortunes plus the accompanying emotions, and supporting the whole with periodic brief explanatory commentary. The author’s summing up in the epilogue skillfully draws the reader’s attention to the change in mood of the key character, his father, as matters progress. It also strips away the perpetual instant communication we now take for granted and leaves bare the anxiety of waiting to hear from someone close . . . Very well written and presented, and highly recommended.’
‘This second book by Black Robertson about his fighter pilot father during World War II is an absolute masterpiece, providing a unique and very close insight into the personal life and the very strong emotions of a young man fighting for his country. The author has skilfully woven his father’s remarkable story around his being shot down and seriously wounded in North Africa, through a series of highly poignant letters written by him to the young woman who would later become his wife. The result, with an expert commentary by Black – himself a skilled modern day fighter pilot – is an exceptionally good read, full of emotion and excitement, which is almost impossible to put down. Never before have I read or witnessed so much remarkable detail of day to day wartime life and flying operations, and this outstanding book is an absolutely “must have” for the bookshelf.’
HARDBACK PEN & SWORD
Fighters in the Blood
The Story of a Spitfire Pilot & the Son who Followed in his Footsteps
The uncovering of a treasure trove of wartime memorabilia was the catalyst for this unique memoir. Two separate and distinct voices bring vividly to life the contrasting experiences of the author and those of his father, a decorated Spitfire ace. The latter’s career was cut short by the loss of an eye when he was shot down in North Africa. Amongst the fascinating parallels a generation apart two stand out. The astonishing role that Lady Luck played in both their lives, and a deep and abiding love of flying. The result is not only a unique testament to character, it’s also a tribute to those who made the RAF what it is today.
‘Precise elegant and fun . . . Entertaining and in places poignant, Fighters in the Blood adds a unique twist to the standard autobiographical form . . . A rich testimony that sheds an important light on the RAF’s wartime culture.’
Air and Space Power Review
‘I have to commend the writing style and the articulate manner in which Black writes. It is amusing and intense at times and will keep any reader enthralled. The way the author describes the people in this story comes across in the most honest and sincere way that this reviewer has read in a long time. It is truly a unique and intriguing story.’
‘For those interested in gaining a different perspective on the changing human experience of RAF service over several decades, Fighters in the Blood is a standout source . . . as a single narrative spanning the lived experience of almost every rank and flying position which RAF aircrew aspired to during the Cold War [it] delivers something unique.’