Peter Fleming (1907-1971) was a journalist and writer and one of the last great adventurers of the 20th century. He began his career as a special correspondent for The Times and later wrote for The Spectator throughout. He served with the Grenadier Guards during World War II and from 1942 was in charge of military deception operations in Southeast Asia, for which he was awarded an OBE. He is author of several classic books, which include Brazilian Adventure, One's Company, News from Tartary and Bayonets to Lhasa. In his memory, The Royal Geographical Society established The Peter Fleming Award for projects that seek to advance geographical science.
"Peter Fleming's To Peking tells the story of a long journey, with much that is relevant for us to-day, From the Caucasus to Shanghai, via Tashkent, Irkutz and Valdivostok, Fleming sharpens his keen eye and caustic wit on bewitching places and a medley of colourful characters he encounters along the way. Written with the immediacy of a diary, this is not a journey the reader will easily forget." --John Hare, author of Mysteries of the GobiFurther Praise for Peter Fleming: One's Company "With an acid and scornful mind, a fresh and vivid style... One reads him for literary delight and for the pleasure of meeting an Elizabethan spirit allied to a modern mind.... but he is also an observer of penetrating intellect." --Vita Sackville-West "Original and impressive... As a journalist he is modernity itself; as a traveller he has about him an Elizabethan aroma, being both cruel and amused." --Harold Nicholson"A classic traveller." --Compton Mackenzie, Daily MailNews from Tartary ..". A simple blending of modesty and wit in disarming proportions... the result is something fresh and delightful in the literature of high Asia." --New York Times"I read the book for the pleasure of Mr. Fleming's company. Like thousands of other people I am charmed by high impudent street-urchin approach to danger and discomfort, to hunger and thirst." -- David Garnett, New Statesman"Its entertainment value is immense. It will arouse great fury and cause much pleasure." --Harold Nicholson"It confirmed Fleming's place in the front rank of travel writers... no modern work of travel has given me more pleasure... I have read it more times than I can remember." --Nigel Buxton"Mr. Fleming will be remembered as a gifted writer with and easy pen given to satire... This kind of journey and this kind of book are at his fingertips." --V. S. Pritchard..". One of the most impressive volumes that have come from Asia in many years... unadulterated reporting... brilliantly written and candidly truthful." --G. E. SokolskyBrazilian Adventure "The best travel book I have read for a long time. It is crammed with sound observation, good writing, humour and a unique blend of disillusion, foolhardiness and high spirits.' --J.B. Priestley"This account of the expedition has that essential double interest which is characteristic of all really great books of adventure. Mr Fleming has the most delightful sense of humour and he writes brilliantly." --David Garnett"An extraordinarily good book." --Sunday TimesThe Siege at Peking "An exceptionally readable book." --Sunday Times..".An astonishing tale... exciting, enthralling, at times humorous and always strictly accurate, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book." --Time and Tide