A light-hearted look at the life and career of Eric Sherbrooke Walker, the roguish Englishman who built Treetops Hotel in Kenya with the proceeds of bootlegging to America during Prohibition. He and his wife Lady Bettie were hosts to Princess Elizabeth on the night she became Queen.
Walker led a remarkably entertaining life. Private secretary to Sir Robert Baden-Powell before WW1, he became a fighter pilot in the Royal Flying Corps and then a prisoner of war in Germany. He escaped to Holland with the help of a pre-war German girlfriend and later won the MC in the Crimea while fighting for the White Russians against the Bolsheviks.
In the 1920s, Walker fell in love with the Earl of Denbigh’s daughter but needed money to marry her. He solved the problem by smuggling boatloads of alcohol to America during Prohibition. He fought off pirates at sea and gunmen ashore while his fiancée worked as social secretary to the British ambassador in Washington. After wounding a corrupt state trooper in a shootout, Walker fled via Canada to Kenya, where he and Lady Bettie built the Outspan hotel and then Treetops, the first game-viewing lodge in the world.
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...
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