Noel Pemberton Billing was a far-sighted polymath of events on the world scene during the first half of the last century. During his sixty-seven years of very full life, he was a prolific inventor and designer of aircraft, a pioneer aviator, playwright, author, actor, gun-runner, spy and much more besides. A forceful and colourful Independent Member of Parliament during World War I, he likened the administration of the country to a 'sorry and sordid play, in which politicians are the actors, the pressmen are the dramatists, vested interests pack the house and the public pay the price'. The victim of several 'dirty tricks' during his parliamentary career, he was forced to conduct his own defence in a politically instigated criminal libel case at the Old Bailey and, against all odds and to much popular acclaim, was acquitted. In this first full biography of Pemberton Billing, Barbara Stoney's thorough research has produced a fascinating and highly readable account of the life of this complex and extraordinary man.