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Peter Fleming (Robert Peter Fleming) Biography

(1907–71), (Robert Peter Fleming), My Aunt's Rhinoceros, Goodbye to the Bombay Bowler, Brazilian Adventure

British travel writer and military historian, born in London, the brother of Ian Fleming, educated at Christ Church, Oxford. From 1931 onward he wrote for the Spectator; collections of his articles include My Aunt's Rhinoceros (1956) and Goodbye to the Bombay Bowler (1961). Brazilian Adventure (1933), his humorously understated account of an ill-managed expedition to find the lost explorer Colonel Fawcett, established his reputation as a travel writer. An assignment in China for The Times resulted in One's Company (1934), which contained a penetrating critique of communism. The best-selling News from Tartary (1936) is an urbane and self-deprecatingly witty record of his journey from Peking to Kashgar with the Swiss writer Ella Maillart; it exemplified the spirited amateurism which made Fleming an example to Eric Newby and other succeeding travel writers. After wartime service in Norway, Greece, and India, Fleming turned to military history with Invasion 1940 (1957), a study of Hitler's plans to conquer Britain; his subsequent works included The Siege at Peking (1959), on the Boxer Rebellion, and The Fate of Admiral Kolchak (1963), a study of incidents during the Russian Civil War. Duff Hart-Davis's biography of Fleming appeared in 1987.

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