1st ed., 2003. 554 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 15cm. Small bump to top of spine causing slight lean to front cover o/w FINE. The conquest of the air at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on 17 December 1903 was one of the supreme achievements of the twentieth century. Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright launched the first successful powered aeroplane and changed the world forever. This fascinating study of their little-known lives which explains, accessibly, their aerodynamic breakthrough, shows how their exceptionally close relationship to one another bound them into one uniquely inventive power. The author portrays a family swept up in the fame, jealousies and law suits that exploded around them : the domineering figure of their father whose church wars raged distractingly alongside the process of their invention ; their feisty, adoring sister, Katherine, whose marriage led Orville never to speak to her again. Their lives were punctuated by drama and tragedy. A hoard of previously unpublished Wright family correspondence throws revealing new light on the tragic events that troubled the last twenty years of Orville's life.