Mildred Bruce enjoyed a privileged upbringing that allowed her to search for thrills beyond the bounds of most female contemporaries. She `borrowed' her brother's motorbike at only 15; she raced at Brooklands in the Twenties against the greats, and took a car 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle; she won the ladies' prize of the Monte Carlo Rally and succeeded in powerboat racing. Whilst Amy Johnson was receiving global acclaim for her flight to Australia, Mildred learned to fly, and 8 weeks later embarked on her round-the-world flight, the first person to fly from the UK to Japan. Captured by brigands, feted by the Siamese, Japanese and Americans, she survived several crashes with body and spirit intact, and became a glittering aviation celebrity on her return. A thoroughly modern woman, she pushed similar boundaries in her unconventional love life and later became Britain's first female airline entrepreneur.