“I couldn’t help it. I happen to have been born to do it.

I am sure that I would have been a rotten failure doing anything else.”

~ Ends Of The Earth ~

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kevin Andrews 1924 - 1989 : The American Ikaros

Roy Kevin Andrews was the second son of Roy Chapman Andrews and his first wife, Yvette Borup Andrews.  [First son, George Borup Andrews will be discussed in future postings].  He always preferred to be called Kevin, not Roy and absolutely never Roy Jr.

Overshadowed by his Father's fame, Kevin Andrews' contributions to Greek Archaeology, Travel Writing and Literature, have remained largely unappreciated outside of a small group of academics and admirers. That is, until the recent publication of Roger Jinkinson's new book - American Ikaros: The Search for Kevin Andrews.  Published by Racing Horse Press, London, England, 2010.

A chance encounter in a small cafeneion on a remote Greek Island led Roger Jinkinson on a quest to find out what had happened to Kevin Andrews, the author of The Flight of Ikaros, described by Patrick Leigh Fermor as "One of the great and lasting books about Greece".

My personal copy of the First Edition, Houghton Mifflin Co. 1959.

The search for Kevin Andrews covers half the globe and contains a glittering array of characters including W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Dylan Thomas, Patrick Leigh Fermor, E. E. Cummings, Scofield Thayer, Amelia Earhart, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Queen Frederika of Greece.

Kevin was born in Peking in 1924.  His Mother, Yvette Borup, beautiful and spirited was married at the time to Roy Chapman Andrews, but Jinkinson and others contend that Andrews may not have been Kevin's biological Father.

Gifted with good looks, charm and intelligence, Kevin grew to be a confused and troubled man.  His one constant love was Greece and the Greeks.  He relinquished his American nationality and became a Greek citizen in 1975.  The last few years of his life were spent in Athens living as a recluse.  He dies in 1989, swimming in wild seas off the Greek Island of Kythira.

American Ikaros can be ordered from Roger Jinkinson's site:
Tales from a Greek Island.

The identity of Kevin's Father has been discussed by various authors over the last decade.  I will post my own observations and additional photographs in future postings.