Fun Facts Friday: Bruce Chatwin

May 13, 2022

Bruce Chatwin (13 May 1940 – 18 January 1989) was a journalist, novelist, as well as a travel writer. His book, In Patagonia, established him in the travel book world.

Fun Facts Friday: Bruce Chatwin
Books by Bruce Chatwin*

Fun Facts about Bruce Chatwin:

  1. Charles Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield, England. His father, Charles Leslie Chatwin, and a solicitor and a Royal Naval officer during World War II. His grandfather, Julius Alfred Chatwin, was a well-known architect.
  2. While his father was at sea, young Chatwin moved around with his mother Margharita. Due to the Blitz, mother and son moved often for safety concerns. Later on Mr. Chatwin said that during the war, he considered “home” to be a black suitcase and his Mickey Mouse gas mask.
  3. After the war, Bruce Chatwin got a job in Sotheby’s, London. However, he left a promising career as the director of Impressionist art (and maybe chairman which is what many employees believed) to study archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He also started to develop eye problems due to the close examination of the art.
  4. In 1965 Bruce Chatwin married Elizabeth Chanler(decedent of John Jacob Astor), whom he met in Sotheby’s. The couple loved to travel and were both independents. Elizabeth knew of the bi-sexual nature of her husband and accepted it.
  5. For a time, he worked as a traveling correspondent for The Sunday Times in London. But in 1976, Bruce Chatwin quit his job and traveled to the Patagonia region in South America (Argentina and Chile).
  6. Traveling offered Mr. Chatwin an opportunity to get away from the British class system which he abhorred.
  7. The journey produced his famous book, In Patagonia (1977). The book won awards in England and the United States.
  8. In Patagonia, brought travel writing back to the public limelight, and made the genre popular.
  9. Even though he is known as a travel writer, Mr. Chatwin always considered himself a storyteller first and foremost.
  10. In 1986, Bruce Chatwin collapsed in the middle of the street while visiting Switzerland. He was later diagnosed as HIV positive. He passed away in Nice, France, in 1989.

Books by Bruce Chatwin*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Bruce Chatwin
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Fun Facts Friday: Bruce Chatwin
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Bruce Chatwin (13 May 1940 – 18 January 1989) was a journalist, novelist, as well as a travel writer. His book, In Patagonia, established him in the travel book world.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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