Robin Oakley

The Ride of Her Life

Unbreakable: The Woman Who Defied the Nazis in the World’s Most Dangerous Horse Race

By

Yellow Jersey Press 426pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Which women have made the biggest breakthroughs in sport? Some might select Serena Williams for her twenty-three Grand Slam tennis titles or Nadia Comăneci for achieving the first ‘perfect ten’ in gymnastics. Historians might choose Alice Milliat, who organised a Women’s Olympiad in the 1920s, at a time when the founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, believed that women’s sport was ‘against the laws of nature’. Missing from any list until now has been Lata Brandisová, a Czech countess who overcame massive gender prejudice to compete in the world’s most dangerous horse race, becoming a national heroine by going on to triumph in it over the sporting elite of Hitler’s Germany.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,