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Geoffrey Moorhouse

It is with great sadness that the University announces the death of Warwick Honorary Graduate Geoffrey Moorhouse, at the age of 77, on November 26 2009.

Born in Bolton in 1931 and educated at Bury Grammar School, Geoffrey’s desire to write took him into journalism, initially as a reporter at the Bolton Evening News and then briefly at the News Chronicle. Following his National Service in the Royal Navy, he travelled to New Zealand in 1954 and continued to work for the Bolton paper while also working full time for the Grey River Argus.

On returning to England, he joined the Manchester Guardian as a sub editor before joining Brian Redhead in setting up The Guardian features department, graduating from there to become the paper’s chief features writer.

His first book Britain in the Sixties: The Other England was published in 1964 and was followed by Against All Reason in 1969. In 1970, he resigned from The Guardian to become a full-time author, writing some 29 books over his lifetime on a range of topics from cricket to travel.

His passion for travel saw him, aged 40 and with no previous experience, attempt a crossing of the 3,600 miles of the Sahara Desert from the Atlantic to the Nile. After five months and some appalling hardships, he gave up the struggle, although he covered 2000 miles of his original quest and the result was the best-selling book The Fearful Void (1974).

In 1982, Geoffrey was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2006 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Warwick. Descriptions of him from fellow writers include 'one of the best writers of our time' (Byron Rogers, The Times) and 'a writer whose gifts are beyond category' (Jan Morris, Independent on Sunday).

Geoffrey Moorhouse is survived by three children and his partner Professor Susan Bassnett.