Biggles and the Lost Sovereigns by W. E. Johns was first published in 1964 by Brockhampton. There have been 6 subsequent editions in the English language. From 1978 onwards, Knight Books reissued the novel in paperback under the title "Biggles and the Lost Treasure. The events in the book take place in Southeast Asia, mainly in the Mergui Archipelago of Burma (now Myanmar).
Note: The sections below contain spoilers. In particular, the plot subpage (click here) has an extended summary of the narrative in the book
The Special Air PoliceEdit
- Air Commodore Raymond
- Ginger Hebblethwaite
- Bertie Lissie
Friends and alliesEdit
- marine aircraft base - Johns probably meant RAF Seletar
- Mergui Archipelago
- Penang - refuelling and resupply
Other Research NotesEdit
- One gold sovereign weighs 7.899 g. 20,000 of them would weigh approximately 169 kg. Divided over the 15 bags they were contained in, each bag would have weighed just over 10 kgs. The weight of all the coins would have been easily lifted by the Gadfly.
References to the pastEdit
- Biggles reminds Air Commodore Raymond about the events in Biggles - Air Commodore and mentions Elephant Island. He also mentions this event to Captain Macdonald in Chapter 2.
- In chapter 3 Bertie reminds the others of his encounter with an anaconda in Orchids for Biggles.
- In chapter 7, Biggles says he knows about tigers, and Bertie is nervous about them. But there's no mention that they shot a tiger together in Biggles Goes Home.
- In chapter 8, Ginger doesn't want to be trapped by a rising tide. He mentions his unpleasant experience in Biggles Takes It Rough.
- Surprisingly, there's no mention of the events in Biggles Delivers the Goods which also take place in the Mergui Archipelago. Biggles even visited Victoria Point in that book.
(see also table at Timeline of the Biggles Stories)
- Singapore has a British embassy. Macdonald handed his sovereigns over to it and Biggles notified it at the end of his mission. The colony became self-governing in 1959, and would have received a British High Commissioner (British term for dipomatic representative to commonwealth countries). From 1963-1965, Singapore was part of Malaysia and so would not have its own British diplomatic mission. The High Commissioner would have his office in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Singapore separated from Malaysia and became independant in 1965 but this book was written in 1964. Therefore the events would have taken place between 1959 to 1963 when Singapore still had its own British High Commissioner.