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When her father paid for her to travel to England the following year he thought she was going to further her musical studies but nothing was further from her mind. Instead she made her way to the famous Stag Lane Aerodrome in London, which was popular with the rich and famous.

Jean Batten

Flying greats such as Amy Johnson rubbed shoulders with Hollywood stars, who all wanted their pictures taken beside the planes, as well as aristocrats, including the Duchess of Bedford, who was also a keen pilot. Yet despite the glamour surrounding her Jean focused on her one ambition — to obtain a commercial flying licence. Unable to persuade Victor to buy her another plane, she turned to Lord Wakefield of Castrol oil fame, who admired her tenacity and offered her a Gipsy Moth, the plane in which she would make the record-breaking England to Australia flight.

Jean went on to set many more records, including being the fastest person to cross the Atlantic. A book deal, awards and medals followed and she was made a CBE in As the honours mounted, thousands of people started to gather to watch her arrive at airfields across the world.

However it was a young Australian pilot, Beverley Shepherd, who captured her heart after they met in Sydney in On the outside Jean had everything she had ever dreamed of but deep down she was plagued by a haunting loneliness which she often described in her log books. These feelings were only reinforced when Beverley died in a plane crash in February Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Jean Batten by Ian Mackersey.

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Yet, despite her brilliance as a pilot, she remained the least well-known of them all, for the dentist's daughter from New Zealand built an impregnable wall around her private life - which was dominated, though f Jean Batten was one of the great aviation megastars of the s. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages.

Published by David Bateman Ltd first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 4.

Jean Batten: the Garbo of the skies — book review

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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Flying solo to set her records, and in the days without radios or electronic navigation aids or fatigue reducing autopilots, Jean flew through horrible weather at times while setting records in her open cockpit de Havilland Gypsy Moth.


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  6. As WW II began she effectively retired as a pilot. Yet, decades later, she made a comeback during an interval from to as a public personality but not as a pilot. She looked decades younger than her age thanks to regular exercise, healthy diet and a face lift here and there — admiral accomplishments. Mackersey nicely delves into the personality of Jean both in the short and long views.

    We have Ian to thank for not having Jean lost to history due to his search and writing of this comprehensive biography. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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