Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.
'His masterpiece' Spectator 'Superbly funny ! as civilizing, generous and affecting as Vivere in Pace , and the men, women and children, weather and woodsmoke are as fresh as yesterday' Observer 'A vivid description of Italian village life, full of notable characters ! and the reactions of one sensitive man to being out of the war in the middle of one' Daily Telegraph 'It is necessary to state with emphasis that this is a very good book indeed' Times Literary Supplement 'An exciting story, superbly told. And wisdom, courage and generosity illuminate it' Punch