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Peter Pinney


*The Lawless & The Lotus
*The Barbarians, A Soldier's New Guinea Diary

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This is a
archived site,
National Library of Australia


The Lawless and The Lotus

The Barbarians, A Soldier's New Guinea Diary

Peter Pinney, 1922 - 1992

This site, named after Peter Pinney's best known travel book Dust on My Shoes, hopes to provide some background related to his life of travel, photographs and writing.

Dust on My Shoes follows PP's travels overland from Greece to Burma (1948), 'on the road' hitchhiking and adventuring after the end of World War 2.

During WW2 he fought with several Independent companies as signaller and commando in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.

Peter Pinney came from an unusual and illustrious family which included Gilbert Murray, famous Oxford scholar and Sir Hubert Murray, Administrator of Papua from 1908 - 1940.

Spending time in Papua and Norfolk Island as a boy could only have encouraged Peter's love of travel and the unusual, on leaving school he travelled in outback NSW and Qld as a hobo, jumping trains and living 'on the wallaby'. Later he travelled the world usually with little or no luggage, money or plan other than to go wherever his feet took him. These years of travels and adventures were what he wrote about in numerous and popular books throughout his career, most known in the 1950's, '60's and early '90's.

Peter kept extensive diaries - including illegally in WW2, wrote books, letters, short stories, and scripts for television, and was a prolific photographer and occasional artist. He was published by Angus & Robertson and later UQP from 1952 to 1992.

Currently 2 of his books are either back in print and available: The Lawless & The Lotus, coming home to Australia after 15 years traveling around the world from Iceland to Tahiti, and The Barbarians, first diary of his WW2 trilogy.

Dust on my Shoes
Publ. 1952 A&R

From the dust jacket
"Setting out from Greece, Pinney travelled through the countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, over the snow-covered mountains of Afghanistan, across the plains of India to the steaming jungles of Assam and Burma. In between times, when he was not actually on the move, he took part briefly in the Greek civil war, worked as a rouseabout in a baked bean bar on the waterfront at Beirut, coloured Teheran, and peddled orchids in Delhi. He travelled sometimes alone, sometimes with a Dutchman named Marchand, a "peerless companion" whose instinct for wandering was as strong as his own.

Nearly always penniless, they scrounged lifts by every available means of transport; and when there was no transport they walked. They were often in trouble with the authorities, especially in those countries for which they had no proper visas; and they were often in pursuit of, or pursued by, girls whose charms were as various as their nationalities.

In an endless succession of adventures and misadventures they were saved by their quick wittedness and ingenuity. Once in Burma, they fell in with a tribe of headhunters. How they escaped from that predicament is only one of the many exciting episodes that make up this book."


Dust on my Shoes was Peter Pinney's first book, published by Angus & Robertson.
Peter published 12 books, and wrote for television. His most recent publisher was UQP