Take a nervous Englishman with no previous experience of teaching. Drop him into a ghastly Kenya prep school in the middle of Rider Haggard country. A school where cricketing news comes by carrier pigeon, leopards are assaulted with a red-hot poker, and runaway boys are hunted down with spearmen and a pack of foxhounds.
For Martin Riddle the experience is unforgettable. For the riding mistress, Lady Bullivant, it is all part of the day’s work. And for the headmaster, a disgraced ex-Guards officer, it is simply a means of staving off bankruptcy for a few more weeks.
As for the Masai, tennis may be on the curriculum at Haggard Hall, but midnight meetings with naked warriors definitely are not!
Nicholas Best grew up in Kenya and was educated there, in England and at Trinity College, Dublin. He served in the Grenadier Guards and worked in London as a journalist before becoming a fulltime author.
His comic novel Tennis and the Masai was serialized on BBC Radio 4 and has recently been a best-seller in the Amazon Top 100. The Greatest Day in History, his account of the 1918 Armistice, was a Waterstone's recommendation of the month and has been translated into many languages.
In 2010, Nicholas Best was long-listed for the inaugural Sunday Times-EFG Private Bank award of...
More about Nicholas Best