Selina Hastings

The nervous passenger who became one of our great travel writers

A review of Pleasures and Landscapes, by Sybille Bedford. Bedford journeyed through Italy, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Portugal and Yugoslavia and vividly noted the postwar evolution of Europe

Lake Lucerne Photo: Davide Seddo/Getty

Sybille Bedford all her life was a keen and courageous traveller. Restless, curious, intellectually alert, she was always ready to explore new territories, her experiences recounted in a sophisticated style that Jan Morris in her introduction refers to as ‘a kind of apotheosised reportage’. Bedford’s first book, A Visit to Don Otavio, describing an expedition to Mexico, was to become a classic of travel literature, and the essays in Pleasures and Landscapes show many of the same exceptional qualities.

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