With the season finale of Downton Abbey (shocking US audiences) this past Sunday, you might want to drown your sorrows by checking into the equally dramatic and somewhat glamorous lives of the first white settlers in Kenya (or "Keenya" as they liked to call it). My favorite is Beryl Markham's excellent West with the Night, and if you loved watching "Out of Africa" or "White Mischief", you may enjoy reading the list of books below. They are ranked in order of my personal preference.
- Beryl Markham -- West with the Night (beautifully written autobiography)
- Elspeth Huxley -- The Flame Trees of Thika (autobiography)
- Bror Blixen -- African Hunter (autobiography)
- Mary Lovell -- Straight On Till Morning (life and times of Beryl Markham)
- Elspeth Huxley -- Out in the Midday Sun (autobiography)
- Isak Dinesen -- Out of Africa (autobiography, made into the famous movie of the same name)
- Sara Wheeler -- Too Close to the Sun (life and times of Denys Finch Hatton)
- Mark Seal -- Wildflower (life and times of conservationist Joan Root - set a bit later in the century)
- Frances Osborne -- The Bolter (life and times of socialite Idina Sackville)
I have now had more than enough of the "upstairs", it's time to check back into the "downstairs" and get updated on modern Kenya. Check out my full list of: Recommended books about Kenya...