This is a perceptive and highly entertaining celebration of the achievements of female flyers from eighteenth-century balloonists to today's astronauts. For decades female aviators had to defy social prejudices despite having achieved remarkable feats of skill and endurance. From 1910, women pilots in America performed death-defying stunts, and in England during the 1920s, a clutch of aristocratic flyers were flipping from continent to continent in their private planes. By the 1930s women had produced an abundance of record-makers -- Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart, Jean Batten and Beryl Markham among them. The Second World War recruited British and American women to ferry fighters and bombers from factories and airfields, and produced some outstanding pilots from Germany and Russia. Post-war developments included long-distance record flights and the growth of opportunity in commercial and military flight and in space exploration. As well as charting women's progress in aviation, the book considers fictional images of female flyers in comic-strips, magazines, books -- from girls' adventure tales to romances. This book is both amusing and enlightening in its research on the determination and struggles of women to fly.