Negley Farson

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Negley Farson in 1942

James Negley Farson (May 14, 1890 – December 13, 1960), was an American author and adventurer.[1] A renowned fisherman, Farson wrote one of the classics of fishing literature, Going Fishing. The story of his life is told in his two volumes of autobiography: The Way Of a Transgressor and A Mirror for Narcissus.


Born on May 14, 1890 in Plainfield, New Jersey, Farson was raised by his eccentric grandfather, the Civil War General James Negley. He was educated at Andover and read civil engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He was expelled from this institution and emigrated to England. He went into journalism and travelled to Russia, being present in Petrograd the day the Bolshevik Revolution broke out. Farson went on to become one of the most renowned foreign correspondents of his day, interviewing Gandhi in India, witnessing Gandhi's arrest in Poona, witnessing bank-robber John Dillinger's naked body in the morgue just after he had been shot down by Hoover's men, and meeting Hitler, who described Farson's blond son, Daniel, as a "good Aryan boy".

Farson's grave in the churchyard of St George's church in Georgeham in Devon

In 1920 in London Farson married Enid Eveleen (née Stoker, 1893-1961),[2] a nurse who served during World War I.[3] He died on 13 December 1960 while sitting in an armchair in his home, The Grey House in Georgeham in Devon.[4][5] He is buried with his wife 'Eve' Farson in the churchyard of St George's church in the village of Georgeham, near his home. His son writer and broadcaster Daniel Farson died in his father's former home in the village.


  • 1926 Sailing Across Europe
  • 1930 Black Bread and Red Coffins
  • 1936 The Way of a Transgressor
  • 1938 Transgressor in the Tropics
  • 1939 The Story of a Lake
  • 1941 Bomber's Moon
  • 1941 Behind God's Back
  • 1942 Going Fishing
  • 1949 Last Chance in Africa
  • 1951 Caucasian Journey
  • 1957 A Mirror for Narcissus
  • 1958 The Lost World of the Caucasus


  1. ^ "Farson's Way". Caught by the River. 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  2. ^ Marriage of James Negley Farson in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
  3. ^ UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920 for Enid Eveleen Stoker - (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Negley Farson, Author, 70, Dies. Ex-Reporter in Britain for Chicago Daily News Wrote of World-Wide Adventures", The New York Times, December 14, 1960. Accessed February 5, 2008.
  5. ^ Registration of the death of James Negley Farson at Barnstaple - the England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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