Mustoe, Anne 1933-

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MUSTOE, Anne 1933-

PERSONAL: Born May 24, 1933; daughter of H. W. Revill; married Nelson Edwin Mustoe (died, 1976). Education: Girton College, Cambridge, B.A., 1955, M.A., 1958, diploma, IPM, 1959. Hobbies and other interests: Cycling, music.

ADDRESSES: Home—12 Melcombe Court, Dorset Square, London NW1 6EP, England.

CAREER: Educator, travel writer, and lecturer. Keen & Nettlefolds Ltd., guest, 1956-60; Francis Holland School, head of classics, 1965-69; independent travel agent, 1969-73; Cobham Hall, Kent, England, deputy headmistress, 1975-78; St. Felix School, Suffolk, England, 1978-87. Girls' Common Entrance Examinations, member of board of managers, 1983-86; Girls' Schools Association, president, 1984-85; International School in Switzerland, chairman, 1986-87. Governor of Hethersett Old Hall School, 1981-86, Cobham Hall, 1986—, James Allen's Girls' School, 1991-99, and Thornton College, 1992-97, served as magistrate and member of Final Selection Board for the UK Foreign Office and Home Civil Service.


Escaping the Winter, Robert Hale (London, England), 1993.

A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles around the World, Virgin (London, England), 1991.

Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels, and the World, Swan Hill (Shrewsbury, England), 1998.

Two Wheels in the Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy, Virgin (London, England), 2001.

Cleopatra's Needle: From the Thames to the Nile by Bicycle, Virgin (London, England), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: In 1987 Anne Mustoe left her position as headmistress of St. Felix School in England to travel extensively, and then went on to write and speak about her adventures. She had developed tours during the years she worked in the travel business, but the mode of transportation Mustoe chose was the bicycle. Mustoe rode around the world twice, and her lecture topics cover everything from the Turkish empires, to traveling the Silk Road, to the pioneer trails and Pony Express of the United States.

A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles around the World documents Mustoe's fifteen-month journey, at the age of fifty-four, through Europe, India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Far East, and the Americas. Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels, and the World follows her east-to-west trip around the globe. Mustoe admitted to Les Woodland of Bycycle that she doesn't train and also doesn't know how to fix a flat. She said that she only experienced three punctures in her round-the-world travels, and added that "every time there was somebody there happy to do it for me."

In Lone Traveller, Mustoe writes about cycling solo, dealing with authorities, traveling over rugged terrain, and how to follow maps that are missing whole mountain ranges. She relates how Brazilians were perplexed by an older woman riding alone, how she was arrested in China, and how the athletic citizens of Australia celebrated her achievements.

Mustoe was in her early sixties when in 1992 she began a trip that would take her from Nepal to Sri Lanka, following the Sanskrit path of the Ramayana through the Indian subcontinent. In Two Wheels in the Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy she combines travel with history and religion, retelling the tale of Rama and his encounters with the vulture king and the monkey god. Her starting point, Nepal, was the home of Rama's wife, Sita. Mustoe's own adventures revolve around India's geography and people and follows the unfolding of the Hindu saga. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that Mustoe's stories, taken together, provide "a vivid travelogue . . . from the perspective of a sympathetic outsider who observes how the nation's deeply rooted faith and social practices make it a unique paradox of ancient and modern."

"Like the bike, the book goes at an amiable pace," wrote Trevor Fishlock in the London Daily Telegraph. Mustoe writes that when her patience was tested, the teacher in her surfaced. In one instance, three policemen burst into her room in Nepal and she said to them authoritatively, "I am a headmistress," upon which they quickly retreated. Mustoe admits to seeking out a beer or enjoying a joint with backpackers during her more relaxed moments.

Chapters of the book begin with literary quotations from authors, including Shakespeare, Robert Burns, and Rudyard Kipling, and there is a picture of Mustoe's bike, named Condor. A London Independent Sunday reviewer feared that because of Mustoe's background as a headmistress, the book would read like the work of a Victorian eccentric. But the reviewer, who called Two Wheels in the Dust "a compelling read," found that Mustoe's style "is unassuming, and the story is made up of basic day-to-day observations, 'the stuff of our lives.'" In 2003 Mustoe published Cleopatra's Needle: From the Thames to the Nile by Bicycle.



Daily Telegraph (London, England), November 17, 2001, Trevor Fishlock, review of Two Wheels in the Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy.

Independent Sunday (London, England), June 21, 1998, review of Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels, and the World, p. 10.

M2 Best Books, March 28, 2002, "Trilogy of Travel Books on Bicycle Trips around the World."

Publishers Weekly, November 12, 2001, review of Two Wheels in the Dust, p. 54.


Bycycle, (June-July, 2000), Les Woodland, "Just Do It."