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West with the Night : Virago Modern Classics - Beryl Markham

West with the Night

Virago Modern Classics

Paperback Published: 25th August 2015
ISBN: 9780860685418
Number Of Pages: 320

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ERNEST HEMINGWAY wrote to a friend: 'She can write rings around all of us . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book'

West with the Night appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s.

Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license.

In 1936 she determined to fly solo across the Atlantic -- without stopping. When Charles Lindbergh did the same, he had the wind behind him. Markham, by contrast, had a strong headwind against her and a plane that only flew up to 163 mph. On 4 September, she took off ... Several days later, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia and became an instant celebrity.

About the Author

Born in England in 1902, Markham grew up in East Africa. She apprenticed as a trainer and breeder of racehorses and in the 1930s became an African bush pilot. In 1936 she became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. Markham died suddenly in 1986.

Industry Reviews

A beautiful and evocative story that deserves to be ranked alongside Karen Blixen's OUT OF AFRICA - Time Out

A poet's feeling for her land, an adventurer's response to life - New York HERALD Tribune

A rare treat


I loved this book by Beryl Markham. I was prompted to read it after reading the fictionalised biography of her Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. This book is an account of Markham's early life in Kenya and her heroic cross Atlantic Flight. She has a spare, witty style. She evokes the Kenyan landscape and peoples vividly.



So glad I bought this book


I wanted to get a feel for what Kenya was like early in the last century. I loved this book because Beryl made me feel that I was with her on her adventures. Beryl Markham's writing style is fluid and very easy to get lost in. She wrote in the style of her day, and so her sentence and paragraph structures are often rather long, but still totally enjoyable. The part of her story dealing with her greatest achievement, that is flying solo across the Atlantic from West to East, in my opinion is rather brief. However, I got what I came for and am thrilled with my purchase.

Adelaide, South Australia


Snapshot into a time gone past


Beryl Markham provides a compelling snapshot into a life gone by, with vivid prose painting the picture of an adventuress rarely to be found in those, or these times. This cameo of her life is a delight in which to wallow, and to share with others. Highly recommended.



West with the Night

5.0 3


ISBN: 9780860685418
ISBN-10: 0860685411
Series: Virago Modern Classics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 25th August 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.2  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1