Snailham, Richard 1930–

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SNAILHAM, Richard 1930–

(George Richard Snailham)


Surname is accented on first syllable; born May 18, 1930, in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England; son of William Rushton (a cotton agent) and Mabel Snailham; married Christina March, January 19, 1990. Education: Keble College, Oxford, B.A. (with second class honors), 1953. Politics: Conservative. Religion: Church of England. Hobbies and other interests: Exploration (including expeditions to Ethiopia, Zaire, Jamaica, Ecuador, and elsewhere).


Home—Windsor, Berkshire, England.


Schoolmaster at a preparatory school in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, 1954-55, and a school in Iwerne Minster, Dorset, England, 1955-57; history teacher and department head at a school in Exeter, Devon, England, 1957-65; Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Camberley, Surrey, England, senior lecturer in political and social studies, 1965-90; Operation Raleigh, London, England, writer, 1990-92; writer and public speaker on travel and expeditions, 1993—. Leader of tour groups and study tours for Voyages Jules Verne, ACE Study Tours, and others; Winston Churchill Fellowship, chair for Surrey and West Sussex, 1984-91; Young Explorers Trust, secretary, 1986-90. Military service: British Army, Intelligence Corps, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, 1948-50.


Royal Geographical Society (fellow), Scientific Exploration Society (founding member, 1969; past member of council; honorary vice president), Historical Association, Anglo-Ethiopian Society (chair, 1999-2006), Globetrotters Club (president, 1977-90), Mastermind Club, Constitutional Club (Windsor, England).


Fellowship from Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, 1971; Mrs. Patrick Ness Award, Royal Geographic Society, 1980.


The Blue Nile Revealed, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1970.

(With John N. Blashford-Snell) The Expedition Organiser's Guide, Daily Telegraph (London, England), 1970, revised edition, 1978.

A Giant among Rivers, Hutchinson (London, England), 1976.

Sangay Survived, Hutchinson (London, England), 1978.

Normandy and Brittany, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1986.

(With John N. Blashford-Snell) Kota Mama: Retracing the Lost Trade Routes of Ancient South American Peoples, Headline (London, England), 2000.

(With John N. Blashford-Snell) East to the Amazon: In Search of Great Paititi and the Trade Routes of the Ancients, John Murray (London, England), 2003.

Contributor to Times Educational Supplement, Geographical, Expedition, and Yachting Monthly.


When asked about his writing, Richard Snailham told CA: "Travelling to remote parts of Africa in 1966, 1968, 1972, 1974-5 led to writing articles and then books on Ethiopia, Zaire, etc. My work is influenced by Patrick Leigh Fermor, Eric Newby and travel writers of that sort. I write longhand on scrap paper, with massive alteration, type on scrap paper, then more alteration. I type the final copy (no computer yet, no laptop or printer). The most surprising thing I've learned is how difficult it is to coauthor a book (I've done it three times). My favorite of my books is Sangay Survived because I nearly got killed by an erupting volcano and it's an exciting story."



Geographical Journal, November, 1980, review of Sangay Survived, p. 447.

Times Literary Supplement, November 22, 2002, John Ure, review of East to the Amazon: In Search of Great Paititi and the Trade Routes of the Ancients, p. 31.