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Books by Eric Newby

  • The Last Grain Race

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: ALQIZ
    Paperback
    An engaging and informative first-hand account of the last 'grain race' of maritime history, from respected travel writer Eric Newby. In 1939, a young Eric Newby - later renowned as a travel writer of exceptional talent - set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe. Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home - 'the grain race' - in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft. First published in 1956, 'The Last Grain Race', featuring many photographs from the author's personal collection, celebrates both the spirit of adventure and the thrill of sailing on the high seas. Newby's first-hand account - engaging and informative, with frequent bursts of humour and witty observations from both above and below deck - chronicles this classic sailing voyage of the Twenties and Thirties, and records the last grain race of maritime history.
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  • Departures and Arrivals

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AEISN
    Paperback
    'Whatever else we remember of our travels, we remember our departures and arrivals. Often they are the most enduring of all our memories of them.' From one of Britain's best-loved travel writers comes a fascinating collection of incredible highlights from an eventful life. Acutely observant, with an eye for quirky detail and a wit of charming self-deprecation, Eric Newby has delighted readers with his travels, whether to remote locations or his very own back garden. In this captivating collection of 19 tales, Newby invites the reader to join him as he navigates the globe, from the shops and streets of the pram-vantaged Barnes of yesteryear to a mysterious opal-mining town in Australia, and from the faded glamour of the Orient Express to a cycle ride along the Meridian Line, navigating rivers and ill-placed homes. As a forefather of the modern comic travel book, Newby's insatiable curiosity and infectious enthusiasm have garnered him an incredible following over many decades. 'Departures and Arrivals' is a superb showcase of Eric Newby's distinctive storytelling and boundless energy that will delight both existing fans and new admirers.
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  • A Merry Dance Around the World

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAWMG
    Paperback
    A collection of writing from Britain's best-loved travel writer, 'A Merry Dance around the World' is the culmination of a lifetime of adventure. Covering everything from the birth of Eric Newby in 1919 at the 'ghastly hour' of 3.45am, to Herculean cycling escapades in his seventies through the wiles of the Irish winter, this is an astonishing catalogue of disasters and misunderstandings. Newby's compassionate grace and sharp wit ensure that every adventure is as charming, hilarious and wild as his last. Including extracts from his masterpiece of love and courage in wartime, 'Love and War in the Apennines', travelling epiphanies against the breathtaking backdrop of 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' and the memorable excursions of the long-suffering and truly heroic Wanda Newby on bikes, in boats and planning daring prison escapes. A brilliant introduction for any Newby newcomer, or handy collection for the intrepid Newby veteran traveller, 'A Merry Dance around the World' is a whirlwind tour around the globe, guided by the forefather of the modern comic travel book.
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  • Round Ireland in Low Gear

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAWKM
    Paperback
    'You've had some pretty crazy ideas in your life, Newby, but this is the craziest.' Grandmother Wanda Newby was exasperated after continuous rain, snow, and gales that knocked from her bike. Twice. To avoid other tourists, Eric Newby had decided that the depths of winter would be the very best time to explore Ireland by mountain bike. More astonishing still, he managed to persuade Wanda, his long-suffering wife and life-long co-traveller, to accompany him - mainly, she admitted, to 'keep him out of trouble'. Lashed by winter storms, fuelled by Guinness and warmed by thermal underwear, their panniers laden with antique books on Ireland, the elderly adventurers cycle the highways and byways, encountering hospitable locals, swaying saints and ferocious dogs. From the shores of Donegal to the holy mountains, Newby guides the reader on a tale of mishap and magic, all in his own peculiar style of humour and charm, relishing his never-ending curiosity of the world and his insatiable quest for adventure.
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  • On the Shores of the Mediterranean

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAWKL
    Paperback
    With his trademark charm and sharp wit, Newby leaves no stone unturned in his quest for wonderfully detailed and quirky knowledge to share with his reader. Insightful, hilarious and sheer fun, this is an adventure not to be missed, by Britain's best-loved travel guide, and father of the genre. 'Why don't you start in Naples and go clockwise round the Mediterranean instead of dashing off in all directions like a lunatic?' Fortunately, Eric Newby followed his wife Wanda's advice, and so begins the wonderfully madcap adventure, 'On the Shores of the Mediterranean'. Beginning during the Newbys' wine harvest in Tuscany, the adventurous but disaster-prone pair follow a path using every form of transportation conceivable (public bus, taxi, foot, bike, boat), from Naples to Venice, along the Adriatic to Greece, Turkey, Jerusalem and North Africa, from sipping wildly extravagant cocktails in San Marco to being cordially invited to Libya by Colonel Gaddafi.
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  • A Small Place in Italy

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAWKK
    Paperback
    This book is a lush and beautiful memoir of a very special house and a superb recreation of a bygone era. In 1967, veteran travel writer Eric Newby and his heroic wife Wanda fulfiled their dream of a return to life in the Italian hills where they first met during World War II. But this fulfilment would not come easy. The dream materialised in the form of I Castagni ('The Chestnuts'), a small, decrepit farmhouse with no roof, an abandoned septic tank and its own indigenous wildlife reluctant to give up their home. But in the foothills of the Apuan Alps on the border of Liguria and Northern Tuscany, this ramshackle house would soon become a hub of love, friendship and activity. Whether recounting dangerous expeditions through Afghanistan or everyday life in a country house, Newby's talent shines through as one of the foremost writers of the comic travel genre. Full of Newby's sharp wit and good humour, 'A Small Place' in Italy returns, twenty years later, to the life of Newby's much-cherished classic, Love and War in the Apennines. It lovingly recounts the quickly disappearing lifestyle of the idiosyncratic locals, and the enduring friendships they forge, whether sharing in growing their first wine harvest as novices or frying poisonous mushrooms for a feast.
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  • Slowly Down the Ganges

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAWKJ
    Paperback
    'Slowly Down the Ganges' is seen as a vintage Newby masterpiece, alongside 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' and 'Love and War in the Apennines'. Told with Newby's self-deprecating humour and wry attention to detail, this is a classic of the genre and a window into an enchanting piece of history. On his forty-forth birthday, Eric Newby sets out on an incredible journey: to travel the 1,200-mile length of India's holy river. In a misguided attempt to keep him out of trouble, Wanda, his life-long travel companion and wife, is to be his fellow boatwoman. Their plan is to begin in the great plain of Hardwar and finish in the Bay of Bengal, but the journey almost immediately becomes markedly slower and more treacherous than either had imagined - running aground sixty-three times in the first six days. Travelling in a variety of unstable boats, as well as by rail, bus and bullock cart, and resting at sandbanks and remote villages, the Newbys encounter engaging characters and glorious mishaps, including the non-existence of large-scale maps of the country, a realisation that questions of pure 'logic' cause grave offense and, on one occasion, the only person in sight for miles is an old man who is himself unsure where he is. Newby's only consolation: on a river, if you go downstream, you're sure to end up somewhere!
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  • A Traveller's Life

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAVNT
    Paperback
    A chronicle of travels, some homely some exotic, from the man who can make a schoolboy holiday in Swanage as colourful as a walk in the Hindu Kush. Eric Newby's life of travel began in 1919, on pram-ride adventures with his mother into the dark streets of Barnes and the chaotic jungles of Harrods, and progressed to solo, school-bound adventures around the slums of darkest Hammersmith. His interest piqued, Newby's wanderlust snowballed, and his adventures multiplied, as he navigated the London sewer system, bicycled to Italy and meandered the wilds of New York's Broadway. Whether travelling abroad as a high-fashion buyer for a British department store or for pure adventure as a travel writer, even when reluctantly participating in a tiger shoot in India, Newby chronicles his adventures with verve, humour and infectious enthusiasm. After nine years as the travel editor for the Observer, Newby reluctantly gave up the post, eschewing the new form of human-as-freight travel. However, this change was certainly no pity for his readers, as the latter-day Newby continued on his unwavering quest for fascinating detail and adventure wherever he roamed, whether on two feet or two wheels. 'A Traveller's Life' chronicles the incredible adventures of one of the best-loved tour guides in the history of travel writing.
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  • Something Wholesale

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAURX
    Paperback
    Veteran travel writer Eric Newby has a massive following and is cherished as the forefather of the modern comic travel book. However, less known are his adventures during the years he spent as an apprentice and commercial buyer in the improbable trade of women's fashion. From his repatriation as a prisoner of war in 1945 to his writing of the bestselling 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' in 1956, Eric Newby's years as a commercial traveller in the world of haute couture were as full of adventure and oddity as any during his time as travel editor for the Observer. 'Something Wholesale' is Newby's hilarious and wonderfully chaotic tale of the disorder that was his life as an apprentice to the family garment firm of Lane and Newby, including hilariously recounted escapades with sudden-onset wool allergies, waist-deep predicaments in tissue paper and the soul-destroying task of matching buttons. In addition to the charming chaos of his work in the family business, it is also a warm and loving portrait of his father, a delightfully eccentric gentleman who managed to spend more energy avoiding and actively participating in disasters than he did in preserving his business. With its quick wit, self-deprecating charm and splendidly fascinating detail, this is vintage Newby - only with a garment bag in place of a well-worn suitcase.
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  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AAUNG
    Paperback
    A classic of travel writing, 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' is Eric Newby's iconic account of his journey through one of the most remote and beautiful wildernesses on earth. It was 1956, and Eric Newby was earning an improbable living in the chaotic family business of London haute couture. Pining for adventure, Newby sent his friend Hugh Carless the now-famous cable - CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE? - setting in motion a legendary journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan, and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, north-east of Kabul. Inexperienced and ill prepared (their preparations involved nothing more than some tips from a Welsh waitress), the amateurish rogues embark on a month of adventure and hardship in one of the most beautiful wildernesses on earth - a journey that adventurers with more experience and sense may never have undertaken. With good humour, sharp wit and keen observation, the charming narrative style of 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' would soon crystallise Newby's reputation as one of the greatest travel writers of all time. One of the greatest travel classics from one of Britain's best-loved travel writers, this edition includes new photographs, an epilogue from Newby's travelling companion, Hugh Carless, and a prologue from one of Newby's greatest proponents, Evelyn Waugh.
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  • Love and War in the Apennines

    Eric Newby

    Product Code: AASPU
    Paperback
    Hailed as Newby's 'masterpiece', 'Love and War in the Apennines' is the gripping real-life story of Newby's imprisonment and escape from an Italian prison camp during World War II. After the Italian Armistice of 1943, Eric Newby escaped from the prison camp in which he'd been held for a year. He evaded the German army by hiding in the caves and forests of Fontanellato, in Italy's Po Valley. Against this picturesque backdrop, he was sheltered for three months by an informal network of Italian peasants, who fed, supported and nursed him, before his eventual recapture. 'Love and War in the Apennines' is Newby's tribute to the selfless and courageous people who were to be his saviours and companions during this troubled time and of their bleak and unchanging way of life. Of the cast of idiosyncratic characters, most notable was the beautiful local girl on a bike who would teach him the language, and eventually help him escape; two years later they were married and would spend the rest of their lives as co-adventurers. Part travelogue, part escape story and part romance, this is a mesmerising account of wisdom, courage, humour and adventure, and tells the story of the early life of a man who would become one of Britain's best-loved literary adventurers.
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