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. 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.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?


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

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.

Edward Brooke-Hitching on the Web