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About the book
  • Published: 7 March 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473555525
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432


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

A story that defies belief: National Velvet meets Downton Abbey with a splash of The Leopard.

Discover a story that defies belief: National Velvet meets Downton Abbey with a splash of The Leopard.

Czechoslovakia, October 1937. Vast crowds have gathered to watch the Grand Pardubice steeplechase, Europe's most blood-curdling sporting test of manhood. With war looming, the race has a brutal political significance. The Nazis have sent the SS's all-conquering paramilitary horsemen to crush – yet again – the ‘subhuman Slavs’. But Lata Brandisova, a silver-haired countess on a little golden mare, has other ideas...

'Heart-stopping reading' Clover Stroud, Daily Telegraph

  • Pub date: 7 March 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473555525
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the Author

Richard Askwith

Richard Askwith has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He has written five previous books, including an evocative biography of Emil Zátopek, Today We Die A Little, which was shortlisted in the Cross Sports Book Awards. This marked his first foray into the world of Czechoslovak sport. His first book, Feet in the Clouds, won Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards and the Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition. It was also shortlisted for the William Hill and Boardman Tasker prizes. His 2014 book, Running Free, was shortlisted for the Thwaites-Wainwright Prize.

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Praise for Unbreakable

“[An] astonishing story… beautifully pieced together by journalist Richard Askwith… Unbreakable is…much more than simply the story of a horse race. It is also a compelling insight into the fading days of the Habsburg empire and the rise of the women’s liberation movement between the two wars… exceptional…[and] heart-stopping reading which left me in tears”

Clover Stroud, Daily Telegraph

“[An] extraordinary story… Askwith’s compelling book, as much about 20th-century history and women’s equality as it is about racing, is a fitting tribute to a truly remarkable and courageous woman”

Camilla Swift, Mail on Sunday

“Askwith… writes beautifully… One of the most remarkable racing stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading”

Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder

“[This] thoroughly researched, deeply moving account does justice to a remarkable life”

John Cobb, Racing Post

“An inspiring tale of an indomitable spirit”

Nick Pitt, Sunday Times (Best Books of 2019)

“This is a truly great story which has the reader rooting for a 41-year-old woman of whom most will have never heard”

Peter Sharkey, The Post

“Lata Brandisová’s story is remarkable… Stirring, vivid stuff”

History Revealed

“Askwith’s book has all the ingredients of a compulsive page-turner… Lata Brandisova was one of the most famous sporting figures in Czechoslovakia… Largely forgotten…Askwith has hunted down leads to present her story in compelling style”

Alexandra Henton, Field

“A great story, one worthy of the silver screen”

UK Press Syndication, *Books of the Year*

“A fabulously written book about a remarkable lady. A must-read for National Hunt enthusiasts”

James Fry, International Racing Bureau

“Astonishing, inspiring, sad… I found it utterly compelling”

Rose Paterson, Chairwoman, Aintree Racecource


Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

“A truly great story”

Peter Sharkey, The Post

“The Czech nation will surely feel that he has done [Lata Brandisova] justice.”

Robin Oakley, Literary Review

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