Mary Lovell has written a terrific story of this incredible multi-faceted Beryl Markham. I loved West with the Night - perhaps because it was recommended to me by dear friend who had an auntographed copy from Beryl who met her at Santa Barbara's Coral Casino in 1944; Although I didn't meet her I too was living in Santa Barbara from '52 until 1969 and am quite familiar with and amazed at much of the Beryl's history- I too knew the people and places - during her stay in Santa Barbara.- so close and yet so far- ( I had no idea of the drama in her life at that time.) Particularly the rumor or suspicion that she had not written WWTN.- because of her (suspected) illiteracy : that her third husband had done so.
The author Lovell's exhaustive research puts this controversy to rest in my mind. She reveals more than expected or dreamed of regarding her much admired, subject -a fearless pilot, animal lover, horse trainer- a tall beautiful woman , promiscuous, exotic, rude, hated by some- loved by many- a beloved personality .It is an unexpected thrill for the biographer and Beryl to finally meet in Kenya in 1986. The book was written in 1987.