Eric Newby, the thinking man’s travel writer and perhaps one of the best of the 20th century had died at the age of 86. The British writer was known for his keen eye for detail and entertaining style of writing about his travels around the world, the most famous of which was “A Short Walk in The Hindu Kush“.
Prior to writing the 1958 classic in which he recounts his thrilling and funny journey while climbing Mir Samir in Afghatistan, Newby was in the fashion industry, with nearly no experience in mountaineering when set off on his Hindu Kush adventure.
Born and raised in Hammersmith, London, Newby’s first adventure in travel was in 1938 when he gave up his job in advertising to set sail from Australia on the Finnish grain ship Moshulu by way of Cape Horn . He later told the story of this voyage in his book entitled “The Last Grain Race”.
Serving as London newspaper, The Observer‘s, travel editor from 1963 to 1973, Newby often travelled with his wife Wanda, whom he met right after a daring escape in Slovenia during the war. His memoir, “Love and War in the Appenines” recounts this romantic travellers tale.
For aspiring travel writers everywhere, Eric Newby was one of the finest and will always be remembered.
This is from his obituary in the Guardian:
“….Few travel writers have left behind them such a blaze of fun and evocation, stimulants that affect a reader’s imagination like an electric charge. It is very sad indeed that we shall never again see that ubiquitous trilby perched with the precision of a lightning conductor above that handsome, weatherbeaten face, or hear once more the heart-warming chuckle.”
[tags]Eric Newby,travel writer,travel writing,observer,world war 2,appenines[/tags]