Patagonia Wild and Free
Memories of William Herringham Greenwood (1849–1923)

Late in the year 1872, four Englishmen disembarked at the Chilean colony of Punta Arenas. They came to this inhospitable place to hunt wild game; others said, to spy, or to search for gold. A few months later, only one remained — the youngest, William Greenwood — who quickly disappeared into the hinterland, adopting the ways of his new surroundings. He would become Don Guillermo.

Over the years, a handful of writers and travellers met him in the wilds and gave us glimpses of the eccentric Englishman who had turned “native”. But, practically nothing was known of his way of life and accomplishments — until now.

William Greenwood’s articles, recently rediscovered, tell stories that had been “lost” for over a century. With this book, we have the opportunity to meet the man of flesh and blood. Don Guillermo shares his memories with humour, affection and frankness. Thanks to the power of his pen, we can now travel together through the Patagonia that he loved.

Duncan S. Campbell and Gladys G. Grace Paz

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«At the recent International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, I had the opportunity to acquire the book published by yourselves: Patagonia Bravía — a marvellous book, for which I am most grateful. The edition is magnificent, and the deliciously attractive drawings by Julieta Fernández Cánepa help to place William H. Greenwood's articles in context. Congratulations. »

Editorial Amate, Guadalajara

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«Thank you both for an invaluable addition to our library and the libraries of all those who share our love of Patagonia. ... Very readable, you have done a grand job of putting it all together — maps, illustrations, footnotes, indices and glossaries — all very well presented and thought out. Many congratulations. ..»

Author: "Dark horses at the Patagonian Frontier"

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«This collection of first-hand accounts written by William Greenwood, a baqueano and later a pioneer sheep farmer in the wilds of Patagonia, covers the important colonisation period of 1870 to 1900. … Greenwood's articles are full of humour and irony, and his narrative skills keep the reader engrossed. Duncan Campbell and Gladys Grace are to be congratulated on bringing these stories to print and undertaking such excellent editing, with key background information and explanatory notes. … The book is of immense value to students of Patagonian history, and also to the general reader who wants to revel in intrinsically powerful storytelling.»

Author: "A History of the British Presence in Chile"

o — O — o

«What an incredible life William led in Patagonia and to me it is simply astonishing that he survived to write these stories of his life out there. But how fortunate for us that he did, for had he not, what knowledge would have been lost. In some places the book was a tough read, because of the subject matter, but in a literary sense it was an easy read, for his writing flows so beautifully. He is so articulate and has a wonderful way with words. He was clearly well educated.

But I mustn't give all the credit to William! Your footnotes and glossary certainly added enormously to the enjoyment and general understanding of the text. As did the accompanying map, with the descriptions of the various locations. And last but not least, I thought the illustrations were simply exquisite.»

Great-grandniece of W. H. Greenwood

«Just to let you know how much I enjoyed reading Patagonia Wild and Free. Through the narrative, names and pictures I was really immersed into the era. The extreme conditions and horses hides for a roof, for example, indicated the abundance of animals and William's resourcefulness.»

Porirua, New Zealand

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«I have already read some articles [of Patagonia Wild and Free] ... especially those about Steinmann. The descriptions are so colourful and also sometimes quite amusing, looking at the two different men, the inexperienced but stubborn European and the knowledgeable guide [Greenwood]! The elegant illustrations are a very enjoyable  addition.»

Professor, University of Freiburg

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«These articles were the fruit of Greenwood's notes and reflections on a quarter century of authentic, true-life adventures while residing in Southern Patagonia. His were unique experiences, set deep in an unspoiled natural world, which would shortly disappear. … In the author's words, one finds, for the first time ever, detailed, complete and irreplaceable first-hand information about the way of life on the frontier of colonisation. … What has been rescued of Greenwood's writings is a treasure-house of historical information. … This material joins the select group of classic books about our old dear Southern Patagonia.»

Professor Emeritus, University of Magallanes
Recipient of Chilean National History Award, 2000

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«What a splendid job you have done with the book. I have enjoyed what is a marvellous insight not only into Greenwood's experiences, personality and contemporaries, but also a striking history of old and new Patagonia - all in the space of thirty years. It should be compulsory reading for young and old who love your land. In addition to the writings, your meticulous editing and notes enhance it - and a special joy in the delightful illustrations.»

Professor Emeritus, University of Stirling

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«Have just finished the book — couldn't put it down. What evocative descriptions about life in the wilds of Patagonia.   Thanks again for sharing these wonderful tales.»

Great-grandnephew of W. H. Greenwood


<—Rated reviews here—> 



1. First-Hand Information 
2. Cattle and Horses 
3. Last of the Wild Bulls 
4. Baguales (Wild Horses) 
5. Homage to Santiago Zamora 
6. Indians 
7. Worst Winter of All 
8. Guide to Captain Rogers 
9. Sandy Point Mutiny 
10. Festivities, Visitors and Trade
11. Destination Lake Santa Cruz 
12. Adventures with Professor Steinmann 
13. Volcano of the Giants in Eruption 
14. Ascencio Brunel, Horse Thief 
15. Sheep, Shepherds and Sheep Farmers
16. Bosom Pals 
17. South-American Lions (Pumas) 
18. Ostriches (Rheas) 
19. Guanacos 
20. Seals and Sea Lions 
21. Lesser Game 
22. Advice to Visitors, Settlers and Investors
Julieta Fernández Cánepa, from Argentina, studied Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. She combines her talent as an artist with her specialization as a trekking guide in Southern Patagonia. This was the perfect combination of skills to illustrate a book such as this one. Her knowledge of nature, habitats and regional personalities enabled her to convey great realism in over 70 original illustrations. Their artistic quality has been frequently praised by the general public.
skunks   ostrich
Duncan S. Campbell, is a Scottish expat and professional information systems engineer. His web-site, British Presence in Southern Patagonia, has won international recognition, being selected by the British Library for its permanent collection. He is a strong proponent of internet as a vehicle for the preservation and diffusion of all types of historical materials. editores Gladys G. Grace Paz, who comes from a long-established Punta Arenas family, pursued her doctoral studies in linguistics at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. In the course of her career, she has developed and taught communications seminars in various parts of Latin America. She enjoys unraveling the complexities of Spanish colonial manuscripts as an aid to genealogists and historians.
homepage homepage homepage
— patfotos.org — — patlibros.org — — patbrit.org —

For questions about this book or the persons named in it:
EMAIL the editors


(1) Biography of William H. Greenwood.

(2) Henry Reynard, Greenwood's business partner.

(3) Resources for regional history: Patagonia Bookshelf

(4) First edition: November 2015, 1000 copies
Reprinted: April 2018, 600 copies



True-life Stories of Old Patagonia