Edward Brooke-Hitching

Edward Brooke-Hitching is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Phantom Atlas (2016), which has been translated into nine languages, and Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling and Other Forgotten Sports . The son of Franklin Brooke-Hitching, collector of the largest and most comprehensive library of British exploration and discovery ever accumulated, he is also a writer for the BBC series QI and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives in London. 

Books by this Author

The Golden Atlas
Fox Tossing


My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. ‘While I breathe, I hope.’ - Cicero. Also, ‘Eat first, ask questions later.’

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. I'm obsessed with collecting the works of James Caulfield, an English author and print-seller of the Georgian era who published collections of curious characters of the day, like stone-eaters and human fountains. I love his fondness for a strange story, and feel a connection there.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. In his lifetime my father sped across the Sahara on a scooter, learned Kendo in Japan, travelled with conmen through South America, dated Sandra Dee, and as a rare book dealer put together the greatest collection on British exploration the world has ever seen. But to answer your question, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?


Seeing a book you’ve written sitting on your parents’ bookshelf.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Sinkholes. I could give you something profound about solitude or failure, but no. Sinkholes. They can open up anywhere.

Edward Brooke-Hitching on the Web