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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.
'All the dusty enchantment and the recurrent dottiness of India - its exasperating charm - are in these pages' Eric Linklater 'Any book by Eric Newby is an event' Len Deighton 'Impossible to describe adequately the flavour of this delicious story ... vintage Newby delicately salted with "The Wind in the Willows" and "Three Men in a Boat"' Guardian 'No journey into an unmapped interior to carry the word or find a lost explorer was more obstinately seen through to its end than this do-it-yourself pleasure trip ... Mr Newby has fine descriptive gifts and a deft touch in casual portraiture' Times Literary Supplement 'One of the finest and certainly the funniest of British travel writers' Sunday Times