Rumney spent much of his life living as a wanderer, and was variously described as both a 'recluse' and a 'media whore', seeing his existence as a 'permanent adventure and endless experiment'. He moved, as his friend Guy Atkins said, "between penury and almost absurd affluence. One visited him in a squalid room in London's Neal Street, in a house shared with near down-and-outs. Next, one would find him in Harry's Bar in Venice, or at a Max Ernst opening in Paris. He seemed to take poverty with more equanimity than riches."
A book about his life, The Map Is Not The Territory (Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719059518) was published in 2001.
See also The Consul by Rumney (Verso, ISBN 1859843956) published in 2002.
Ralph Rumney died of cancer at his home in Manosque, Provence, on March 6 2002 aged 67.
An extensive interview with Rumney appears in Vague magazine, issue 22.