The British Empire Library

A Roving Scot

by Douglas Hutton

Courtesy of OSPA

Review by R.S.F.
In 1952 a "fledgling Scot of 23", the author took up an overseas business appointment in Kenya as a member of the Cadbury-Fry organisation. It was the first in a series of roving commissions, extended in range in 1959 when he joined Unilever. In the course of a business career of some thirty years the author travelled the world from his various overseas bases in East Africa, Cyprus, Ethiopia and Latin America. If he still has them, his well-thumbed British passports would show that he visited over sixty countries.

In two hundred racy pages the author records his impressions of some of the outstanding places he visited in his travels, describes the situations in which he found himself and paints perceptive pictures of some of the characters he met along the way. Wide-ranging books of this kind can easily become travelogues laced with reference book facts. By contrast, this personal account of a busy life in far-flung places - sometimes in dangerous circumstances such as Kenya at the time of the Mau-Mau and Cyprus during the days of EOKA - is both entertaining and informative. The author comes across very much as a man who (in the words of Elspeth Huxley's foreword) "enjoyed his life, his travels and the company of those he met and worked with".

He later added to his memoirs with A Restless Spirit: Further Memoirs of a Roving Scot

British Empire Book
Douglas Hutton
The Pentland Press


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