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.
David McNeill illustrates how maps reflected and were affected by the Versailles Peace Conference.
21 January 2019
Marking the 300th anniversary of Defoe's classic, Alexander Maitland sketches the life and adventures of the original Robinson Crusoe.
25 February 2019
Rory O'Grady tells the extraordinary story of Sir Frederick Lugard, the soldier, anti-slavery activist, adventurer and explorer who became the first Governor-General of Nigeria and a Governor of Hong Kong.
11 March 2019
John Dudeney and Isobel Williams examine Bruce’s legacy from his Scotia Antarctic expedition of 1902 to his later expeditions in the Arctic.
25 March 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