Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Fledgling (London, UK)

July 1917

Fledgling: The Monthly Journal of the No.2 Flying Corps Cadet Wing was launched in June 1917 by the essayist and dramatist Basil Macdonald Hastings, who edited the magazine while serving at the Royal Flying Corps base at Hastings during the First World War. The magazine published feature articles as well as shorter literary pieces, including a poem by 'G.R.S.', pseudonym of flying ace Albert Ball (August 1917). It continued after 1918 as Roosters and Fledglings: The Monthly Journal of the Royal Air Force Cadets.

Conrad's contribution, an account of his experiences in a Short seaplane on 18 September 1916, had been solicited for the war effort by Hastings, with whom he was collaborating on a dramatization of Victory. The previous December, Conrad had asked the editor of London Opinion to disregard a short notice of his first flight: 'Pray let the thing remain in its original obscurity and thus earn the gratitude of a fellow writer' (CL 5:689). 'I am ever so glad you like my Mighty Effort', he wrote to Hastings in June 1917: 'Pray accept an un-venerable old man's blessing for yourself and your Fledgeling [sic] -- all your fledgelings' (CL 6:97).

Conrad, Joseph. Notes on Life and Letters. Ed. J. H. Stape, with Andrew Busza. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Davies, Laurence, et al., ed. The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983-2008. 9 vols.
Noakes, Vivien. Voices of Silence: The Alternative Book of First World War Poetry. Stroud, Glouctershire: Sutton 2006.