Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Newby and Thesiger: humour and lament in the hindu kush

Cocking, Ben (2011) Newby and Thesiger: humour and lament in the hindu kush. Studies in Travel Writing, 15 (1). pp. 93-109. ISSN 1364-5145. (doi:10.1080/13645145.2011.537506) (KAR id:56729)


Eric Newby’s A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1958) ends with an account of an apparently chance meeting in 1956 on a mountain side with Wilfred Thesiger. The account is, in many respects, typical of Newby’s style, witty, well observed and self-deprecating. By contrast, Thesiger’s account of this meeting in Among the Mountains (1998) is characteristically more serious in tone and is somewhat dismissive of Newby’s endeavours. Their meeting has been perceived as a symbolic encounter between traditional travel writing and an emergent, modern form with their authorial personas seen as representing forms of postwar “imperialist nostalgia”. However, a comparison of these books reveals inconsistencies and variations in the authorial personas they portray and to which others have ascribed to them. In so doing, this paper aims to examine the extent to which “imperialist nostalgia” is manifest in their work. Whilst the term usefully helps situate Newby and Thesiger in a postwar context, the differences and instability of this theme in A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush and Among the Mountains warrants further exploration.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13645145.2011.537506
Uncontrolled keywords: Newby; Thesiger; postwar; imperialist nostalgia; travel writing; colonialism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Centre for Journalism
Depositing User: Ben Cocking
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 15:36 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.