Stanley Stewart’s travel career has taken him along the Silk Road through the mountains of Central Asia, to the sources of the White Nile in the Mountains of the Moon, and to the brink of disaster in a rather ill-fated canoeing expedition on the Canadian Shield. He has traversed the Northwest Passage on a Russian ice-breaker, crossed India on a wheezing motorcycle and Mongolia on a series of very short horses. He has stowed away on Egyptian barges, been held at gunpoint by bandits in Uganda, and shared champagne with the prostitutes of the Trans-Siberian Express. He has dined on barbecued rat in northern Burma, raw snake in China, crocodile in Australia, and maggots with a remote tribe in the upper Amazon. He has swapped penis anecdotes with the head-hunters of Borneo, tracked down witch doctors in the mountains of southern China, serenaded a conference of plumbers in Puglia, and climbed Kilimanjaro in a pair of deck shoes. He has survived a rebel bombing raid in southern Sudan, a Maasai circumcision party in Kenya, and the bared buttocks of Brazilian beaches. He has eloped with a Mongolian nomad, dined with a Maharajah prayed with monks in an Eritrean monastery and traded very cross words with the Iranian secret police.
Stewart is the author of three highly acclaimed travel books and several hundred articles based on journeys across five continents. His latest book, In the Empire of Genghis Khan, about a thousand-mile horse ride across Mongolia, has been translated into ten languages, and was the BBC Book of the Week. Stewart has won the Benjamin Franklin Award in the US for In the Empire, and is the only author to have twice won the prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in the UK for In the Empire of Genghis Khan and Frontiers of Heaven.
Stewart’s work has appeared regularly in travel anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. His travel journalism has won numerous awards. He has been named Travel Writer of the Year six times and was awarded the Magazine Writer of the Year in 2008. He is a contributing editor of Conde Nast Traveller, and in the UK his work appears regularly in the Sunday Times. He has also contributed to the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent and the Times. He writes for the National Geographic Traveler in the US, the Sunday Times in South Africa and the Australian. The Times Literary Supplement has described him as ‘among the very first rank of contemporary travel writers.’ In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Stewart was born in Ireland, grew up in Canada, and has spent much of adult life in the UK. He has also lived in the US, China, Egypt, India, and Italy. Peripatetic impulses persist in his domestic arrangements, and he now divides his time between Dorset in the UK and Rome.