To mark the donation of Eric Newby’s archive to the Society, Alexander Maitland will be giving a Be Inspired talk on Monday 5 November. In advance of the talk, we asked Alexander to tell us more about Eric Newby and the items that have been donated.
Can you tell us a little bit about Eric Newby?
Eric Newby was born in London in 1919 and educated at St Paul's School. He worked in advertising before joining the Finnish wind-ship, Moshulu, in 1938 for an historic voyage which he described in his book The Last Grain Race.
During the war he was captured in 1942 off Sicily and imprisoned. In Love and War in the Apennines he described how he escaped, helped by Wanda Skof, whom he eventually married. After some years in the wholesale fashion business, he travelled in Nuristan in 1956 and wrote A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush.
Together, the Newbys journeyed Slowly Down the Ganges in 1963 and, on his return, Eric became Travel Editor of the Observer.
What can we learn from the items in the donation – why are they important now?
The archive includes a great many of his letters, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks and photographs, and they provide fascinating insights into Eric Newby, as well as a window on his time and travels.
The photographs in the archive are really striking and it is clear that Newby was a remarkable photographer with a gift for composition, landscape and portraiture.
What is your favourite item and why?
With so many to choose from, this is difficult. Perhaps Hugh Carless's letter which led Eric to the Hindu Kush and the great travel book which made his name.
Alexander’s talk, Travelling for amazement, takes place at the Society on Monday 5 November at 2.30pm. It is free for members and students, and £5 for others.
Our speakers consider how reframing and re-contextualising post-colonial histories through photography and archival activation may promote remembering, dialogue and reconciliation in East Africa.
28 October 2019
From the Arctic to the Antarctic via the Sahara and the Central Lakes of Africa, these watches were used by almost all the well-known explorers of the period including Joseph Thomson, Ernest Shackleton and Col. P Fawcett.
4 November 2019
Join us for an evening which celebrates the films and film-makers who brought us the first dramatic moving images of Mount Everest.
7 November 2019
This display reflects the extraordinary kaleidoscope of Newby’s life and times: seaman, soldier (prisoner of war), fashion buyer, travel writer, photographer and first travel editor of a national newspaper.
6 December 2019
By placing a booking, you are permitting us to store and use your (and any other attendees) details in order to fulfil the booking.
We will not use your details for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You must be a member holding a valid Society membership to view the content you are trying to access. Please login to continue.
Join us today, Society membership is open to anyone with a passion for geography
Cookies on the RGS website