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Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.
'Newby is an incomparable, shrewd and witty travel writer ... Immensely enjoyable' John Mortimer, Mail on Sunday 'Newby has quite rightly established himself as one of the sharpest, funniest and most boisterously entertaining of all travel writers' Sunday Telegraph 'Cost me a lot of sleep because it was too enjoyable to put down' Peter Lewis, Daily Mail 'Still holds the laurels as the country's wittiest travel writer. A Merry Dance Around the World is a collection of all the master's best traveller's tales from a lifetime's travel writing. It is an astonishing catalogue of disasters and misunderstandings, but it had me laughing so uncontrollably, my wife eventually forbade me from reading it in public' Sunday Times 'In the increasingly popular realm of travel writing, Eric Newby has acquired Homeric status . . . The extract from Love and War in the Apennines, arguably one of the best travel books ever written, shows Eric Newby at his most scintillating, and the chapter from A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush includes the most luminous moment in modern travelling history' Daily Telegraph 'Whatever Eric Newby writes, I read with uncritical pleasure. The Newby travels are classics of their time' Financial Times 'Keeping up with Eric Newby, every breathless puff and pant of it, is worth it all the way. His vitality, which was always more than most people's, gets bigger and his writing richer and funnier' Observer 'Compassionate and hilarious' Independent on Sunday 'Wonderful stuff' Wanderlust'