Mildred Bruce enjoyed a privileged upbringing that allowed her to search for thrills beyond the bounds of most female contemporaries. She stole her brother's motorbike at 15. She raced at Brooklands in the 1920s against some of the greats of the era, and took a car 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. She won the ladies' prize of the Monte Carlo rally and embarked upon powerboat racing. While 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.