Peter Fleming

One's Company
  • One's Company

  • Catching all the fascination and humour of travel in out-of-the-way places, One's Company is Peter Fleming's account of his journey through Russia and Manchuria to China when he was Special Correspondent to The Times in the 1930s. Fleming spent seven months with the 'object of investigating the Communist situation in South China' at a time when, as far as he knew, 'no previous journey had been made to the anti-communist front by a foreigner', and on its publication in 1934, One's Company won widespread critical acclaim. Packed with classic incidents - brake-failure on the Trans-Siberian Express, the Eton Boating Song singing lesson in Manchuria - One's Company was among the forerunners of a whole new approach to travel writing.

Peter Fleming was born in 1907 and educated at Eton and Oxford, where he gained a First in English Literature and was Editor of Isis. In 1935, he married Celia Johnson, the distinguished actress, and they had a son and two daughters. He worked briefly in New York before joining an expedition to look for a lost captain in Brazil. This resulted in his first book, Brazilian Adventure, which has been translated into many languages. As a Special Correspondent of The Times, Fleming travelled widely in Eastern and Central Asia. He served in the Grenadier Guards during the war and later commanded the 4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (T. A.). He received the O. B. E. in 1945 and was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1952. He died in August 1971. His books, chiefly on travel and war history, include One's Company, News from Tartary (1936), The Forgotten Journey (1952), The Siege at Peking (1959), Bayonets to Lhasa (1961) and The Fate of Admiral Kolchak (1963).

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