Aerial Aesthetics: A Study of Non-Fiction Narratives of Balloonists and Aviators

Jane Thomson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

284 Downloads (Pure)


This thesis explores the emerging discourse of flight and the distinctive phenomenon of aerial aesthetics in non-fiction ballooning and aeroplane narratives. It analyses James Sadler's Balloon; Travels in the Air by James Glaisher, Camille Flammarion, Wilfrid de Fonvielle and Gaston Tissandier; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Wind, Sand and Stars; and West with the Night by Beryl Markham. I propose that flight was a new aesthetic experience, a sensory phenomenon deeply affecting those who flew. I focus on the way qualities drawn from aesthetics, including sensation, danger and the sublime, interactions with nature, beauty, risk and adventure recur in these narratives.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Dolin, Kieran, Supervisor
  • Chinna, Stephen, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Aerial Aesthetics: A Study of Non-Fiction Narratives of Balloonists and Aviators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this