Last of the Swashbuckling Adventurers


It was some 43 years ago that adventurer / photographer Peter Beard published a landmark book on Africa, The End of the Game.

The pedigreed Yale grad, well known for his impossibly handsome looks, whose dashing grandfather, tobacco heir Pierre Lorillard IV is credited with popularizing the tuxedo, had met author Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) in Denmark, who sparked his interest in the Dark Continent.

Beard, pictured here in Kenya’s Aberdare Moorlands in 1966 displaying some of grandpa’s flair, went on to become not only one of the most interesting and accomplished cultural characters, with a milieu that once included Andy Warhol, Jackie Onassis, Lee Radziwill, Truman Capote, and Bianca Jagger, but a true style icon as well. He is famous not only for his photographs of endangered African elephants but also of supermodels like Cheryl Tiegs (who he was once married to), Iman, and Veruschka and rock stars like Mick Jagger,  and David Bowie.

Originally published in 1965 and updated in 1977, this classic tome has been resurrected by Taschen with rich duotone reproduction and a new foreword by internationally renowned travel and fiction writer, Paul Theroux, a seasoned adventurer in his own right.

“Peter went to Africa and found himself in a violated Eden,” Theroux writes. “Africa possessed him as it does anyone who has wondered who we once were, as humans at our most heroic, thriving as hunters.”

While others of his swashbuckling ilk like George Plimpton and Hunter S. Thompson have gone, Beard is still at it; still possessed, and still possessing our imaginations.


The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise.




~ by eaesthete on 07/06/09.

2 Responses to “Last of the Swashbuckling Adventurers”

  1. we own a fantastic work/photograph by peter beard.

    ps he’s still very gorgeous today!

    • Paul,

      Thanks for commenting. Somehow, I would have imagined
      him remaining gorgeous to this day, but your clarification
      certainly helps.

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