Alexander Fiske-Harrison

Alexander Rupert Fiske-Harrison (born 22 July 1976) is an English writer, producer, financier and conservationist.[1]

Alexander Fiske-Harrison
AF-H writing by Paloma.jpg
Born (1976-07-22) 22 July 1976 (age 43)
Occupationwriter, actor

His writing is known for his immersion in his subject matter.[2] He also trained and worked for some years as a Method actor.[3] For his first book Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish Bullfight he became a bullfighter. For his second, The Bulls Of Pamplona he became a bull-runner.[4] He is researching wolves, dogs and human-canine interactions and common history for a book provisionally titled The Land Of Wolves.

He sits on the board of the City of London investment bank, Fiske & Co,[5] and is managing director of both Mephisto Productions and International Polo Events.[6][7]

Background and personal lifeEdit

He is the youngest son of Clive Fiske Harrison.[8][9] His brother Jules William Fiske Harrison was, according to The Times, a "skilled and fearless skier" who died in a skiing accident in Zermatt, Switzerland in 1988.[10]

Fiske-Harrison studied biological sciences and philosophy at the University of Oxford and as a postgraduate at the University of London.[11] He also trained at the acting school, the Stella Adler Conservatory in New York City, when Marlon Brando was its chairman.[12] (He was consultant on the Academy Award-shortlisted Universal Pictures' documentary on Brando, Listen To Me Marlon).[13]


Fiske-Harrison has written for newspapers and magazine including The Times,[14] Financial Times,[15] Daily Telegraph,[16] The Times Literary Supplement,[17] GQ[18] The Spectator,[19] and Prospect[20] and has featured in magazines such as Condé Nast's Tatler.[21]

He has been interviewed and provided commentary on broadcast media outlets including the BBC,[22] CNN,[23] Al-Jazeera,[24] Discovery Channel,[25] US National Public Radio.[26] and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation National Radio.[27]

He has also written in Spanish for ABC[28] and El Norte de Castilla[29] and has been himself featured in magazines such as ¡Hola! (Spanish parent of Hello! magazine.)[30]


Fiske-Harrison has written on wolves[31] and dogs, cattle and horses,[32] and apes.[33] He often focuses on human perception of, and interaction with, animals.[34]



Fiske-Harrison toreando, 'bullfighting', in Palma del Río, Córdoba province, Spain

An essay on bullfighting for Prospect magazine[35] in September 2008 led Fiske-Harrison to move to Spain to further research the topic. He lived, trained and fought alongside matadors including Juan José Padilla, Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez – whose father Paquirri was killed in the ring, and grandfather Antonio Ordóñez the subject of Hemingway's The Dangerous Summer – and Eduardo Dávila Miura of the Miura bull family. He wrote about his experiences on his blog The Last Arena: In Search of the Spanish Bullfight.[36]

Into The Arena: The World Of The Spanish BullfightEdit

In 2011 Profile Books published his Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight. The Mail on Sunday gave it four stars, saying, "his descriptions of the fights are compelling and lyrical... One begins to understand what has captivated Spaniards for centuries."[37] The Sunday Times said that "it provides an engrossing introduction to Spain's 'great feast of art and danger'".[38]

In answer to Animal Welfare and Animal Rights concerns, the Financial Times said, "it's to Fiske-Harrison's credit that he never quite gets over his moral qualms about bullfighting."


Fiske-Harrison, circled, running among the bulls of Torrestrella on calle Estafeta in Pamplona

As part of his researches in 2009 Fiske-Harrison began running with the bulls in Pamplona,[39][40] and became a part of the 'Runners Team of the World',[41] and continued to do it across the rest of Spain, including the encierros, 'bull-runs', of the Navarran towns of Tafalla and Falces - where the run is down a mountain path beside a sheer drop called 'El Pilón'[42]- in the municipality of San Sebastián de los Reyes and the ancient castle of Cuéllar in Old Castile,[43][44] which hosts the oldest encierro, 'bull-run' in Spain,[45] and where he was awarded a prize for writing about the encierros in 2013.[46]

The Bulls Of PamplonaEdit

In Spring 2014 Fiske-Harrison co-authored and edited the book The Bulls Of Pamplona, with a foreword from the Mayor of Pamplona and contributions from aficionados of the festival of San Fermín, including John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway, Beatrice Welles, daughter of Orson Welles, along with chapters of advice from the most experienced American and Spanish bull-runners.


Fiske-Harrison's acting debut was as Govianus in The Second Maiden's Tragedy at the Hackney Empire theatre in London.[47] He has also acted on the German stage[48] and in independent film in the UK and Italy.[49]

The PendulumEdit

The Pendulum
Alexander Fiske-Harrison & Gareth Kennerley
Written byAlexander Fiske-Harrison
Date premiered3 June 2008
Place premieredJermyn Street Theatre, West End, London

The play is a two-act four-hander set in 1900 Vienna. Its first production was in the summer of 2008 at the Jermyn Street Theatre, in London's West End.[50]

Michael Billington in The Guardian gave it three stars and said, "the author himself plays the disintegrating hero with the right poker-backed irascibility... it is refreshing to find a new play that gets away from bedsit angst, one comes away with the sensation of having seen an accomplished historical play."[51] The Sunday Times described it as "something earnest, nicely acted – if a little contained."[52]


  1. ^ 'Biography', Alexander Fiske-Harrison website
  2. ^ Owen, James 'Where Hemingway Feared To Tread', Mail on Sunday. 10 July 2011
  3. ^ Hodgkinson, Thomas. 'A new literary movement: You have method actors, so why not method authors?', The Independent. 1 February 2016
  4. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'A Good Run' The Spectator, 14 July 2012
  5. ^ Companies House: "Fiske PLC"
  6. ^ Companies House: "Mephisto Productions Ltd."
  7. ^ Companies House: "International Polo Event Ltd."
  8. ^ Winter, Laura. "Clive Fiske Harrison" Archived 15 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Debrett's People of Today 2012
  9. ^ Fiske Harrison of Layer de la Haye Burke's Peerage
  10. ^ Coren, Giles. 'How do I hate skiing?', The Times 21 March 2009
  11. ^ 'Biography',
  12. ^ Profile Books Author page Alexander Fiske-Harrison Archived 12 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Alexander Fiske-Harrison on IMDb
  14. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'Who to back in the Grand National? Not the tipsters' The Times. 12 April 2012
  15. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'Talking with apes', Financial Times. 24 November 2001
  16. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'To the Spanish bullfighting is much more than just a sport' Daily Telegraph. 25 November 2011
  17. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'Can computers converse?', The Times Literary Supplement. 9 June 2000
  18. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'The Last Matador', GQ. September 2012
  19. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'Warrior: The Story of the real warhorse', The Spectator, 21 January 2012
  20. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'On Philosophers and Wolves', Prospect. 22 January 2009
  21. ^ Compston, Harriet. 'Hottie Ahoy!', Tatler. July 2008
  22. ^ Lewis, Alun 'testbeds: Artificial Intelligence' Archived 7 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, BBC Radio 4, 17 February 2000
  23. ^ 'The future of bullfighting in Spain', CNN, 28 July 2010
  24. ^ [1] 'Bullfighting debate with Alexander Fiske-Harrison and Jordi Casamitjana', Al-Jazeera, September 2008
  25. ^ Frayer, Lauren [2] Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine 'World's Scariest Animal Attacks', Mentorn TV. 16 August 2012
  26. ^ Bullfighting in Spain Stays Alive Despite Regional Ban', NPR. 28 September 2011.
  27. ^ Doogue, Geraldine. 'Into the bullfighting arena', ABC National Radio. 4 August 2012
  28. ^ Pina, Marina 'De Eton a Cuéllar, en un solo encierro', ABC. 31 August 2013
  29. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'Gracias, Cuéllar, desde Londres' El Norte de Castilla. 3 September 2012
  30. ^ Sánchez, Mamen. 'Alexander Fiske-Harrison, the English ‘gentleman’ who one day became an expert on bullfighting' (English translation, ¡Hola!. 13 May 2015
  31. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'Four legs good, two legs bad', Prospect. February 2009
  32. ^ Machuga, J. Félix. 'Los caballos siempre quieren darnos lo mejor que tienen', ABC. 2 May 2013
  33. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'Weekend FT Cover Essay: Talking with apes', Financial Times. 24 November 2001
  34. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'If we could talk to the animals...', Frieze. November 2003
  35. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. 'A Noble Death', Prospect. September 2008
  36. ^ Davis, Clive. 'In the arena' Archived 17 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The Spectator. 2 March 2009
  37. ^ Owen, James 'Where Hemingway Feared To Tread', Mail on Sunday. 10 July 2011
  38. ^ Schofield, Brian 'Review: Into The Arena by Alexander Fiske-Harrison', Sunday Times. 29 May 2011
  39. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'A Good Run', The Spectator, 14 July 2012
  40. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander [3], The Spectator, 26 October 2013
  41. ^ 7del7 Runner Team del Mundo Archived 21 January 2014 at
  42. ^ 'My article ‘See you soon, Cuéllar’ in El Norte de Castilla' The Last Arena, 14 September 2014
  43. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'Gracias, Cuéllar, desde Londres', 'El Norte de Castilla', 3 September 2012
  44. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'Y una vez más, gracias, Cuéllar, desde Londres', 'El Norte de Castilla', 2 September 2013
  45. ^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander 'The real, old stuff', Financial Times, 31 May 2013
  46. ^ Ernes 'Galardonados con el trofeo Ehtoro a la divulgación del encierro de Cuéllar' Archived 1 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine,, 27 June 2013
  47. ^ "London Theatre Database page". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  48. ^ "'Alone Together':Familienkomödie im English Theatre", Die Welt. 23 November 2007
  49. ^ [4] IMDb page
  50. ^
  51. ^ Billington, Michael. 'Theatre Review: The Pendululm', The Guardian. 9 June 2008
  52. ^ Wise, Louis. 'Theatre Review: The Pendulum, Jermyn Street, SW1'. Sunday Times 15 June 2008

External linksEdit