Xan Fielding (19181991) was a British writer and traveler, and a lifelong friend of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who served with him in Crete during World War II. (The introduction to Fermor's A Time of Gifts is written as a "Letter to Xan Fielding.") Fielding also translated many novels from French, most notably, The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Planet of the Apes.
"Xan Fielding was a gifted, many-sided, courageous and romantic figure, at the same time civilised and Bohemian, and his thoughtful cast of mind was leavened by humour, spontaneous gaiety, and a dash of recklessness. Almost any stretch of his life might be described as a picaresque interlude." -- Patrick Leigh Fermor