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. 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 by BN Publishing. After living for many years in the United States, Markham moved back to Kenya, becoming for a time the most successful horse trainer in the country.
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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.From AudioFile:
In a memoir almost lyrical in quality, Beryl Markham shares the story of her remarkable life. Raised in the early twentieth century on her father's farm in British East Africa, Markham became a racehorse trainer and accomplished aviator. Markham's rich and poetic passages are deftly caressed by narrator Anna Fields. Her phrasing and pacing make the most of writing that is at times as complex as it is inspired. Especially notable are Fields's portrayal of Africansâ her wistful humor, and her reverence for nature. Native words and names are gracefully intertwined in the narrative. Fields does justice to this rich memoir, praised by Ernest Hemingway as "bloody wonderful." N.M.C. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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