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War makes heroes of men, but at what price? As the twentieth century dawns, Guv Sutro, against his father's will, becomes a pioneer of aviation, a fighter ace on the Western Front during the Great War and a record-breaker between the wars. From his first flight in a primitive glider over the fields of Sussex, helped by the dogged loyalty of his friend Stan Kemp, he charts his ruthless course to fame and adulation. But with the outbreak of World War Two 'the best of Old England' begins to crumble. Guv's son Tim is fighting a more covert war, desperate to shed the burden of his father's reputation, while Tim's childhood companion Will Kemp, the son Guv felt he deserved, is fighting heroically, against overwhelming odds, as a Spitfire pilot. The fates of the men are bound together in the monumental ambitions and terrible tragedies of an age of heroes.

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