The Lives of Beryl Markham

Overview

A woman of captivating presence whose affairs scandalized Kenya, Beryl Markham became famous after her pioneering transatlantic solo flight in 1936.
Drawing on her own long association with Markham, as well as diaries, letters, and interviews, Errol Trzebinski unravels the complexities of one of the century's great personalities.
Markham's memoir, West with the Night, was rediscovered in 1983 and became an instant bestseller, though shadowed by...

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Overview

A woman of captivating presence whose affairs scandalized Kenya, Beryl Markham became famous after her pioneering transatlantic solo flight in 1936.
Drawing on her own long association with Markham, as well as diaries, letters, and interviews, Errol Trzebinski unravels the complexities of one of the century's great personalities.
Markham's memoir, West with the Night, was rediscovered in 1983 and became an instant bestseller, though shadowed by rumors that Markham was not the actual author. Trzebinski here puts the question of authorship to rest, as she answers many other questions about Markham in this riveting true story of courage, rivalry, sexual intrigue, and revenge.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“A powerfully written portrait. . . . Trzebinski writes of Markham's years in Africa with enormous passion for the land and an intuitive sympathy for how it shaped Markham's emotional and spiritual outlook. . . . A fascinating and provocative reappraisal of a singularly willful and conflicted woman.”— Michiko Kakutani
Weekend Telegraph
“Spun together with impressive skill.”— Elspeth Huxley
Michiko Kakutani - New York Times
“A powerfully written portrait. . . . Trzebinski writes of Markham's years in Africa with enormous passion for the land and an intuitive sympathy for how it shaped Markham's emotional and spiritual outlook. . . . A fascinating and provocative reappraisal of a singularly willful and conflicted woman.”
James Fox
“This is the true biography of Beryl Markham: knowledgeably researched, rich in detail, telling the secrets and playing out the dramas that were carefully concealed in the pages of West with the Night.”
Elspeth Huxley - Weekend Telegraph
“Spun together with impressive skill.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A deft and intimate portrait of the aviator who made her pioneering transatlantic solo flight and wrote the popular West with the Night. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This well-researched, readable biography completes what might be called Trzebinski's trilogy of colonial East Africa following Kenya Pioneers , LJ 4/1/86, and Silence Will Speak , LJ 3/15/78. Markham was born in 1902 to British parents and grew up on her father's farm in Kenya. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, Markham was raised a ``child of Africa.'' An accomplished horsewoman and pilot, she was an independent and sometimes difficult woman who never completely fit in with the British upper class. Her three marriages and numerous love affairs notably with Denys Finch Hatton, Karen Blixen's longtime lover are thoroughly documented here, as is the case against Markham's authorship of her memoir of her 1936 transatlantic flight, West with the Night . An upcoming film starring Geena Davis should make this excellent book a popular item for all collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/93.-- Diane Gardner Premo, SILS, SUNY-Buffalo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393312522
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 450
  • Sales rank: 827,503
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Errol Trzebinski has spent over half her life in Kenya. She was a consultant on the film Out of Africa.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Swahili Glossary
Map: East Africa Protectorate c. 1900
Map: Cape to Cairo Air Route
Foreword
1 The Birth of a Life (1902-4) 1
2 Africa (1904-6) 10
3 Life as Lakwet (1906-12) 18
4 Lessons at Home, and in the War (1913-19) 35
5 Life as Beryl Purves (1919-22) 59
6 Life at Mbogani (1922-4) 73
7 Life (1924-7) 97
8 Life as Beryl Markham (1927-9) 113
9 Life with Denys (1929-31) 139
10 Life as a Pilot (1931-2) 162
11 An Ocean Flyer in Embryo (1932-5) 179
12 The Waterjump (1936) 199
13 Life without Direction (1936-8) 218
14 West with the Night (1938-42) 233
15 Life as Beryl Schumacher (1942-9) 247
16 Life in Kenya Colony Once More (1950-64) 274
17 Life in South Africa (1964-70) 301
18 A Phoenix from the Ashes (1970-86) 314
Notes 338
References 347
Bibliography 383
Index 385
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