<em>Bruce Chatwin: A Biography</em> By Nicholas Shakespeare (1999)

No. 2

Oct 27, 2009
Outside Magazine
Anchor Books

Some say modern adventure travel was invented by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, creators of the Lonely Planet guidebooks. I say the patent belongs to Bruce Chatwin. In classics like The Songlines and In Patagonia, the Brit showed that the sublime was still waiting for anyone with a passport. Shakespeare's biography reveals the author as ten times the character he portrayed in his own books: a world-class raconteur, incorrigible gossip, and brilliant mimic. Uncomfortable at home, Chatwin embraced the Olde English ethos of global exploration. "I find I can be English and behave like an Englishman," he said, "only if I'm not here."

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