One of the single greatest autobiographies I've ever read, second only to "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." The life of famed aviatrix Beryl Markham reads like a character out of the pages of Ruyard Kipling or J. Ryder Haggard, yet her name is almost lost to history. We follow Beryl on her whirlwind journey, from her childhood in Africa to her career as a breeder of championship racehorses. We see her discover a passion for flight as she works as a bush pilot, delivering mail and supplies to remote African villages- a career that would eventually lead her to become the fist person to fly east to west across the Atlantic and, subsequently, a household name in the pioneer days of aviation. Along the way, she makes friends with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Isak Dinesen (In Dinesen's bestselling novel, "Out of Africa," the character of Felicity is based on Markham.) Brash, beautiful and fearless, this is the story of a woman who thumbed her nose at the so-called "protocols and conventional thinking" of a male-dominated Early 20th Century...and became a legend in her own time.
2010 Reprint of 1942 First Edition. Markham is often described as "the first person" to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight, though most now dispute this claim. When Markham decided to take on the Atlantic crossing, no pilot had yet flown non-stop from Europe to New York, and no woman had made the westward flight solo, though several had died trying. Markham hoped to claim both records. On September 4, 1936, she took off from Abingdon, England. After a 20-hour flight she crash-landed at Baleine Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In spite of falling short of her goal, Markham had become the first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop. She was celebrated as an aviation pioneer. Markham chronicled her many adventures in her memoir, West with the Night, published in 1942. Despite strong reviews in the press, the book sold modestly, and then quickly went out of print. After living for many years in the United States, Markham moved back to Kenya in 1952, becoming for a time the most successful horse trainer in the country.