Conservationist, scholar, soldier, white hunter and fabled lover - Denys Finch Hatton was an aristocrat of leonine nonchalance. After a dazzling career at Eton and Oxford, he sailed in 1910 for British East Africa - still then the land of the pioneer. Sara Wheeler reveals the truth behind his love affairs with the glamorous aviatrix Beryl Markham, and - famously - with Karen Blixen, a romance immortalised in her memoir Out of Africa.
'No one who ever met him', his Times obituary concluded, 'whether man or woman, old or young, white or black, failed to come under his spell'.
Sara Wheeler's books include the international bestseller Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, of which the Telegraph reviewer wrote, `I do not think there will ever be a better book on the Antarctic.' The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle, was chosen as Book of the Year by Will Self, Michael Palin, A. N. Wilson and others. She has published two biographies of travellers: Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and Too Close to the Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, and was immensely relieved to write about women at last in O My America!. She lives in London.