Man Flies: Master of the Balloon by Nancy Winters
The Story of Alberto Santos-Dumont
Master of the Balloon
by Nancy Winters
The Ecco Press, 1997 ISBN 0880016361, sepia frontispiece, sepia and black and white photographs and plates throughout, hardcover, dust-jacket
Very Good Condition/ Near Fine Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, no inscriptions, dust-jacket shows minor edge and shelf wear with minor rubbing and small tears to edges and corners (see photographs)
"It was for Alberton Santos-Dumont, who could not check his pocket watch because he was using both hands to steer a balloon, that Louis Cartier, in 1901, created the first wristwatch.
The youngest son of a Brazilian millionaire, he grew up on an isolated coffee plantation devouring (and believing) the novels of Jules Verne. By the age of eighteen he was living in Paris, at the height of the Belle Epoque, heir to a huge fortune and determined to make his dreams of flying come true.
A renowned playboy, dining at Maxim's nightly and setting new styles in fashion, he at first frequently crashed his yellow silk airships into the trees of wealthy friends, such as the Rothschilds - who would send up champagne lunches for him to enjoy during repairs. But soon he was winning prestigious prizes and being hailed as "the conqueror of the air".
Internationally acclaimed as the first man to fly, he was feted for several years in Europe and America (where he was received at the White House by Teddy Roosevelt) before learning that the wright brothers, whose early efforts had been discounted, had actually preceded him.
Man Flies tells the tragic, glamorous story of his career, and later illness, and of how this brilliant, colourful and eccentric pioneer slipped through the cracks of aviation history while his inventions and imagination continue to inspire it."