A Lost World of Air Travel and Africa

Graham Coster

A reissue of a travel writing bestseller on a perennially romantic subject.

Graham Coster’s Corsairville was published by Penguin in 1990, acclaimed by William Boyd, Jeremy Clarkson and Francis Spufford, read on Radio 4, and sold over 20,000 copies. Now it is reissued with a new title, and a substantial new Afterword bringing the story up to date.

It is the story of the Imperial Airways flying boat Corsair – one of its legendary C-Class fleet conveying passengers in great luxury on the pre-war air routes from the UK to Africa and Australia – that made a forced landing in the remote, and landlocked, Belgian Congo, and became the subject of an extraordinary salvage operation to rescue it and fly it out again – even to the extent of giving its name to a new village.

Coster sets out to track down the men who went out to central Africa on this remarkable adventure, to trace the old Empire Air Mail route the flying boats flew down through Africa – and travel to the Bahamas and Alaska to seek out and fly on the last flying boat services left anywhere in the world. It is a magical lost world when air travel could still be a voyage. 

Graham Coster’s other books include Snow Stopped Play, A Thousand Miles from Nowhere and The Picador Book of Aviation. He lives in London.





January 2019



198 x 129 mm

978 0 9932911 6 6


B-format paperback