Lighter than Air


‘Lighter than Air’ is the story of Sophie Blanchard, first female pilot. With her husband Jean-Pierre, Sophie travelled and exhibited with hot air balloons. After his death, she worked alone. She dared to travel into new areas, construct special exhibitions and break down walls of disbelief and prejudice. Napoleon named her Chief Air Minister of Ballooning and Aeronaut of Official Festivals.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when flight and women’s abilities were limited and doubted, Sophie Blanchard’s achievements are staggering. Matthew Clark Smith and Matt Tavares endorse this through a proud, respectful telling of Sophie Blanchard’s story and legacy. ‘Lighter than Air’ is a bold and thrilling history.

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Lighter than Air

Sophie Blanchard, The First Female Pilot

Matthew Clark Smith, illustrated by Matt Tavares

Sophie Blanchard dreamed of flight. Determinedly she worked towards her place as the first woman to fly. Napoleon named her ‘Chief Air Minister of Ballooning’. ‘Lighter than Air‘ is the thrilling story of Sophie Blanchard.


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