Skip to main content

Luard, Nicholas 1937-2004

LUARD, Nicholas 1937-2004

(James McVean)


See index for CA sketch: Born June 26, 1937, in London, England; died of cancer, May 25, 2004, in London, England. Author. Beginning his career as a satirist, as well as founder of the magazine Private Eye and the nightclub the Establishment, Luard later made a name for himself as a novelist, travel writer, and environmentalist. Though born in London, he spent his early childhood in Tehran, Iran, where his father was a manager for the oil company British Petroleum. When he was seven, his parents divorced and he was sent back to England to attend a boarding school. He later attended Winchester College on a scholarship, followed by a year at the Sorbonne. After serving in the Coldstream Guards from 1955 to 1957, he attended Magdalene College, completing a master's degree at Cambridge University in 1960 and a second master's at the University of Pennsylvania in 1961. It was while at Magdalene that he met Peter Cook, the talented comedian and Beyond the Fringe performer with whom he would found the Soho club called the Establishment. The Establishment was a popular comedy venue during the 1960s, and Luard also found success in 1962 by purchasing the Private Eye, the satirical magazine for which he became known as "the Emperor of Satire." Selling the magazine to Cook in 1963, he moved to Spain and began a writing career, penning travel books such as The Last Wilderness: A Journey across the Great Kalahari Desert (1981) and Wildlife Parks of Africa (1985), as well as novels like The Orion Lion (1976), the bestselling Gondar (1988), and Silverback (1996). His love of Africa, inspired by the time his mother took him to that land when he was a child, and his love of nature in general led Luard to become active in environmental pursuits. He founded the John Muir Trust in Scotland in 1981, buying up huge tracts of land to be conserved for future generations. The 1990s were a tough time for Luard; first, one of his children contracted AIDS, about which he wrote in The Field of the Star: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Comp (1998), and he lost a bid for a seat in the British Parliament in 1997. Luard also contracted cancer, which, after a period of remission and a liver transplant, eventually came back and proved fatal.



Guardian (London, England), June 1, 2004, p. 21.

Independent (London, England), May 28, 2004, p. 34.

Times (London, England), May 28, 2004, p. 44.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Luard, Nicholas 1937-2004." Contemporary Authors. . 22 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Luard, Nicholas 1937-2004." Contemporary Authors. . (January 22, 2019).

"Luard, Nicholas 1937-2004." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved January 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.