Jean Batten

The Garbo of the Skies

By Ian Mackersey

Availability: 80 in stock

'I find it impossible to over-praise this story which reads like a superior detective novel while bringing a totally new depth of understanding to this extraordinary woman.’     Daily Mail

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.

This reprint of the original book, published by Macdonald Publishers in 1990, draws 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.

198 x 129 mm, 484 pages + 16 pp b&w photographs and map, paperback



Ian Mackersey

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. Since the early 1990s Mackersey has devoted his life to full-time writing, travelling the world researching his books for his London publisher.