Raised mostly in Chantemesle, France, Fedden went to Cambridge University to read English. He served as a diplomat in Athens and taught English Literature at Cairo University. He was one of the Cairo poets, and co-edited the literary journal Personal Landscape with Lawrence Durrell and Bernard Spencer. After World War II, he worked for the National Trust, rising to the post of Deputy Director-General. He retired in 1973.
He had a wide variety of interests, which were reflected in the books he wrote. The best known of these are The Enchanted Mountains and Chantemesle. He also wrote several guidebooks for the National Trust. He was a dedicated mountaineer, a pursuit he took up in his late thirties.
He was married to Renee Fedden; they had two daughters. He died in 1977.
Henry Miller disliked Fedden. He recalled their meetings in Athens when he later wrote bitterly of expatriate Englishmen in The Colossus of Maroussi. Miller "hated [Fedden's] stammer and his effete way of talking and ... framed a sharply satirical portrait of him in the Colossus," wrote Durrell in a letter in 1977.
- The Enchanted Mountains: A Quest in the Pyrenees
- Alpine Ski Tour 1956
- Chantemesle (reissued by Eland Books)
- The National Trust Guide
- Treasures of the National Trust
- The Continuing Purpose: History of the National Trust, Its Aims and Work
- The National Trust: Past and Present
- Churchill And Chartwell
- Egypt: Land of the Valley
- Crusader Castles
- The Country House Guide
- Suicide: A Social and Historical Study
- Syria and Lebanon
- Syria: An historical appreciation
- English Travellers in the Near East
- Anglesey Abbey
- Petworth House
- The Durrell-Miller Letters, 1935-80, Ed. Ian S. MacNiven, Faber & Faber, 1988