Magnificent Women and Flying Machines Book review

Written by Charis Gambon

Magnificent women and flying machines is as the title suggests magnificent! The book written by  British women and their contributions to flight from 1785 to 1991.  40 women over 16 chapters are explored in this wonderful book. Each women in the book is provided with a short chapter about her unique contribution to aviation.  The book is unique as I have never seen a book previously that is anything like Sally Smith’s book.  

Magnificent women is incredibly well written and brings to light contributions that have previously been unspoken and provides these women with the glory they deserve.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely suggest that anybody who is interested in women’s history reads Magnificent Women and flying machines. I absolutely could not put the book down and read the book three days in a row in order to finish it!

 Magnificent women and flying machines is possibly one of favourite books I have ever read. Smith’s writing style is incredibly easy to follow and understand and as a result I would recommend the book to absolutely anybody.  Her writing style is superb and definitely honours these incredible women.

I personally believe that the book allows the magnificent women’s accomplishments to speak for themselves.  I also believe that the women are the centrepieces of the stories and that the men who feature in many of the stories are simply there to support the female story. This approach is refreshing as women are often there to support male dominated history.

The book follows chronologically, which I believe was the best way to write about such a wide range of historical eras and allows for the reader to learn about the development of flight while leaning about these women.

When reading  each woman’s story, you can really envisage them due to the fact that Smith writes in a way to allows their personality and characteristics to shine through.  This means that the reader will develop more of an interest in the book and in reading about women’s contributions to flight as they feel that they truly understand each individual.

Magnificent Women and flying machines is a triumph for women everywhere. The book demonstrates that women can do anything they set their minds to if they try hard enough and that no dream is too big.

One of my favourite stories from the book is that of pilot Amy Johnson.  I enjoyed her story so much because she was not a natural at flying in the first instance and had to practice to become great. I also enjoy her story because she set herself a large and seemingly unattainable goal of  flying from London to Australia, but despite numerous obstacles that Amy Johnson faced she succeeded. I believe that she is a perfect role model for women and young girls everywhere.  Her determination is incredibly admirable, and we could all learn from her.

I also quite enjoyed the story of Jane Stocks who was the first woman to be involved in a serious flying accident.  Her courage to attempt again after her serious accident is truly outstanding.  She was an absolutely fearless character who did not let failure set her back. She truly demonstrates that when you face a setback you pick yourself up and try again.

The introduction to the book wrote by Smith is incredible and manages to summarise perfectly what the book will cover. It sets the tone for the book and hooks the reader right from the start.  The mention of the descendants of some of these outstanding women was a lovely touch to their legacies.

Every women’s story covered by Smith is unique and incredible. They all thoroughly deserve their place in history due to their important contributions. Sally Smith also deserves her place in the narrative for bringing the stories of these women back into public knowledge. I firmly believe that this outstanding book is just the right thing to help propel these women back into historical narrative.

Magnificent Women and Flying Machines is available to purchase from all major book retailers.

3 thoughts on “Magnificent Women and Flying Machines Book review

  1. Charis, what a wonderful review. Finding out about these amazing women was just so rewarding, really each woman deserves a whole book to themselves. When I started researching I was honestly amazed that these women, who played a real role in one of the biggest developments in mankind, had been ignored in history. It is so good their names are out there and thank you so much for your help in helping others know about their amazing bravery and achievements.


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