Jean Batten Garbo of the Skies
Jean Batten was one of the great aviation megastars of the 1930s. Her spectacular flights ranked with those of Britain's Amy Johnson and America's Amelia Earhart. 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 few knew it, by the formidable influence of her mother. Drawing on secret memoirs found after Jean Batten's death and on hundreds of interviews with people who knew her, this biography of Jean's sad and elusive life explodes the enduring myths of happiness and perfection she created for herself. It also solves the mystery of her bizarre and lonely end. The real Jean Batten emerges as a fascinating woman, who combined bravery with ruthlessness with the stunning and seductive beauty she used so effectively to fulfil her ambitions.
Ian Mackersey is a New Zealand writer and documentary film producer acclaimed for his deeply researched and revelational biographies. Jean Batten was the first of his aviation biographies, and was a finalist for two New Zealand book awards. A former head of film and television production at British Airways in London, where his documentaries took 24 international awards, Ian Mackersey is an ex-pilot, journalist, magazine editor, TV documentary producer and the author of ten books, including two novels.