Eric Newby

From Academic Kids

Eric Newby (December 6, 1919-) is an English author of travel literature, regarded by many as one of the finest British travel writers of the 20th century.

Newby was born and grew up at Hammersmith Bridge, London, and was educated at St. Paul's School. He began his working life as a travelling salesmen in the rag trade, up until 1938, when he apprenticed aboard the Finnish grain ship Moshulu and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe by way of Cape Horn, on a voyage subsequently described in The Last Grain Race.

He served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section during World War Two, was captured during an operation against the coast of Italy, and held prisoner of war from 1942 to 1945. During a brief escape, he was hidden by a Slovenian family, meeting Wanda, who later married him and became a companion on his travels. These experiences were described in Love and War in the Apennines. After the war he briefly worked in the women's fashion business, before setting out to climb Mir Samir in the Nuristan Mountains of Afganistan, an expedition later chronicled in A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - probably his most widely-known work. From 1963 to 1973, he was Travel Editor for the Observer newspaper.

Newby's best known works include A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, The Last Grain Race, and Round Ireland in Low Gear. He was awarded a CBE in 1994 and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001.


Selected bibliography

  • The Last Grain Race (1956)
  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1958)
  • Something Wholesale (1962)
  • Slowly Down the Ganges (1966)
  • Time off in Southern Italy: The Observer Guide to Resorts and Hotels (ed.) (1966)
  • My Favorite Stories of Travel (ed.) (1967)
  • Grain Race: Pictures of Life before the Mast in a Windjammer (1968)
  • Wonders of Britain: A Personal Choice of 480 with Diana Petry (1968)
  • Wonders of Ireland: A Personal Choice of 484 with Diana Petry (1969)
  • Love and War in the Apennines (1971)
  • The Mitchell Beazley World Atlas of Exploration (1975)
  • Great Ascents: A Narrative History of Mountaineering (1977)
  • The Big Red Train Ride (1978)
  • A Traveller's Life (1982)
  • On the Shores of the Mediterranean (1984)
  • A Book of Travellers' Tales (ed.) (1985)
  • Round Ireland in Low Gear (1987)
  • What the Traveller Saw (1989)
  • A Small Place in Italy (1994)
  • A Merry Dance Around the World: The Best of Eric Newby (1995)
  • Learning the Ropes: An Apprentice in the Last of the Windjammers (1999)

References

  • Cocker, Mark, Loneliness and Time: British Travel Writing in the Twentieth Century, London: Secker and Warburg, and New York: Pantheon, 1992
  • Newby, Wanda, Peace and War: Growing up in Fascist Italy, London: Collins, 1991
  • Robb, Kenneth A. and Harender Vasudeva, "Eric Newby" in British Travel Writers, 1940[-]1997, Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 204, edited by Barbara Brothers and Julia M. Gergits, Detroit: Gale, 1999: 223-34
  • Thesiger, Wilfred, Desert, Marsh and Mountain: The World of a Nomad, London: Collins, 1979; as The Last Nomad, New York: Dutton, 1980


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