BERYL MARKHAM Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Beryl Markham                                                                       
Born: 26 October 1902                                                                     
Died: 3 August 1986                                                                       
Beryl Markham (26 October 1902 - 3 August 1986), was a British-born Kenyan               
author, pilot, horse trainer and adventurer.                                             
Beryl Markham was born Beryl Clutterbuck on October 26, 1902, in the town of             
Ashwell, in the county of Rutland, England, the daughter of Charles and Clara             
Clutterbuck. When she was four years old, her father moved the family to                 
Kenya, which was then British East Africa, purchasing a farm in Njoro near the           
Great Rift Valley. Although her mother disliked the isolation and promptly               
returned to England, Beryl stayed in Kenya with her father, where she spent an           
adventurous childhood learning, playing and hunting with the natives. On her             
family's farm, she developed a knowledge of, and love for horses. As a young             
adult, she became the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya.                       
Impetuous, single-minded and beautiful, Markham was a noted non-conformist, even         
in a colony known for its colorful eccentrics. She married several times, but             
accounts of her life indicate that she was not a faithful spouse. Her                     
unconcealed 1929 affair with Prince Henry, the son of England's King George V,           
led her husband's brother, Sir Charles Markham, to threaten the British royal             
family with naming the prince in an embarrassing divorce suit. The Windsors               
promptly cut the romance short; Beryl was bought off with a capital trust of £15,000     
from Prince Henry's own funds, from which she drew a modest annuity for the rest         
of her life.                                                                             
She befriended the Danish writer Karen Blixen during the years that Blixen was           
managing her family's coffee farm in the Ngong hills outside Nairobi (in the             
film rendering of those years, Out of Africa, Markham is represented by an               
outspoken, horse-riding tomboy named Felicity). When Blixen's romantic                   
connection with the hunter and pilot Denys Finch Hatton was winding down,                 
Markham started an affair with Finch Hatton herself. Largely inspired by Finsh           
Hatton, she took up flying, which she continued to pursue after Finch Hatton's           
death in an airplane crash. She worked for some time as a bush pilot, spotting           
game animals from the air and signaling their locations to safaris on the ground.         
She also mingled with the notorious Happy Valley set, but was never a full-fledged       
"member" of the decadent crowd.