In search of Bruce Chetwynd

We have such a wide variety of books as choices for my Wednesday book club; there are only five of us in the group now and we have been meeting for four or five years so have covered an awful lot of literature in that time.

For our next meeting we decided on a classic book by an author I had read before and remembered having enjoyed reading. I searched the book shops of Weston-super-Mare for ‘On the Black Hill’, by Bruce Chetwynd, with no success; I knew it was published thirty or so years ago but it is so highly regarded that I did think it might still be available. We went to Taunton today and I visited another couple of shops including a second-hand bookshop… no joy. Eventually i ended up in Waterstones… and hurrah! There it was… but it was with some embarrassment that I realised that the author was indeed Bruce, but that his surname was Chatwin! How silly did I feel!

Chatwin was born in 1940 and after becoming an art expert at Sotherby’s auction house, he left to study archaeology. He didn’t finish his studies but began to travel and it was travelling and writing which brought him success. Apart from ‘On the Black Hill’ his work includes ‘In Patagonia’, ‘The Viceroy of Ouidah’, ‘The Songlines’ and ‘Utz’. He died in 1989 of HIV/AIDS.



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