No Rest for Biggles by W. E. Johns was first serialised, in eight instalments, Junior Mirror between 28th September 1955 and 16th November 1955. The book was first published in 1956 by Hodder and Stoughton. There have only been six subsequent editions, the last being a paperback by Armada in 1977. The events in the book take place in the late-1950s in Africa, mainly on the northern frontier of Liberia.
Aircraft carrying V.I.Ps have been disappearing mysteriously in Africa. There is again talk of a "death ray". Biggles reasons that the perpetrators must be after abduction and not murder and so he sets off with his friends after the missing aircraft, faking a V.I.P. flight which he hopes will attract the abductors. The trail leads him to the jungles of northern Liberia where he meets enemies, some new and some new. He also makes strange allies before the mission is completed.
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
- Bertie Lissie
Allies and FriendsEdit
- Wing Commander Tony Wragg, R.A.F. - pilot of the missing Hastings
- General Homer Mander, U.S. Army - V.I.P. passenger
- Sergeant Norton - navigator on the Hastings
- Corporal Penn - radio operator on the Hastings
- Al Cox - one of the General's secretaries, a security officer under cover
- Vic Roberts - second pilot of Tony Wragg's Hastings
- L.A.C. Laxton - steward on Tony Wragg's Hastings
- Egypt - transit to the operational area.
- Kano, Nigeria - General Mander's Hastings transited here. His last known stopover before disappearing. Biggles' Hastings took off on his decoy mission from here.
- Liberia - Biggles' Hastings was lured to a Christophe's airstrip here.
- Dakar, Senegal - Tony Wragg flew his passengers here after their escape. Met Algy here in transit to Liberia with the Auster.
- Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) - refueling base for Algy's Halifax. Mission ended here.
- French Sudan (now Mali) - Von Stalhein's escape aircraft ends up here.
- Aden, Yemen - origin of General Mander's Hastings flight.
- Khartoum, Sudan - transit point of General Mander's Hastings.
- French West Africa - mentioned as a potential search area for Mander's Hastings.
- Dahomey (now Benin) - mentioned as a potential search area for Mander's Hastings.
Other Research NotesEdit
No Rest for Biggles was first serialised, in eight instalments, in Junior Mirror issues 53 to 60, between 28th September 1955 and 16th November 1955.
1. London: Hodder & Stoughton, March 1956. 159 pages with colour frontispiece and 5 colour plates by Stead. Red boards printed in black with a vignette of an African drummer, same drawing on titlepage. Book list before frontispiece lists to Biggles' Chinese Puzzle and Biggles in Australia. Number 45 on dustjacket spine.
- Dustjacket in full colour shows a Hastings descending. Title is in orange with the word Biggles in yellow.
2. London: Armada Books, 1963. Paperback 159 pages, 1 page advert for World Wildlife fund. Text illustrations in black, artist unknown. 18 cm. Number C27 on spine. Price on front cover 2/6.
- This Armada edition uses essentially the same cover art as the hardcover 1st ed. only the background is a slightly darker blue. There is a portrait of Biggles superimposed on the top left.
3. London: Armada Books, 1969. Reprint. Paperback 159 pages, 8 text illustrations (artist unknown). Cover design by Peter Archer. Number C255 on spine. Book list before title page lists 3 Biggles books. Advertisement in the rear for 4 Biggles books due out in June 1969. Older style Armada ship logo at top left of front cover. Price 3/6 on front cover.
- Cover art depicts in the 3rd last chapter "Von Stalhein Comes Back". Biggles has just set fire to the oil drums in the hangar to destroy the secret prototype aircraft. He is now running away while two of von Stalhein's men fire at him with (what looks like) MP40 submachine guns.
4. London: Armada Books, 1970. Reprint. Paperback 159 pages, 8 text illustrations (artist unknown). Same cover as the 1970 edition but designer name now not given on title page. Number C255 on spine. Book list prior to title page lists 11 Biggles books. Advertisement in the rear for Biggles in the Antarctic due out in January 1971. New style broadside view Armada ship logo at top left of front cover. Price 3/6 on front cover and 3/6 (17 1/2p) at the top of the rear cover.
5. London: Armada Books, 1974. Reprint. Paperback 159 pages, still same cover and text illustrations as above. Book list prior to title page lists 5 Biggles books. New style Armada ship logo at top left of front cover. Price 25p on black square overprint of old price on front cover and 25p at the lower middle of the rear cover.
6. London: Armada Books, 1977. Reprint. Paperback 159 pages, still same cover and text illustrations as above. Book list prior to title page lists 11 Biggles books. New style Armada ship logo at top left of front cover in black. Also a white Armada ship logo on lower right on black square overprint of old price. Price 45p. on back cover.