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Patrick Leigh Fermor

Author : Michael O'Sullivan
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This book revisits the trajectory of one section of Patrick Leigh Fermor's famous pedestrian excursion from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. This S.O.E. officer walked into Hungary as a youth of 19 at Easter of 1934 and left Transylvania in August. "A cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene" as the New York Times obituary put it in 2011, this intrepid traveller published his experiences half a century later. Between the Woods and the Water covers the part of the epic journey on foot from the middle Danube to the Iron Gates. It has been a bestseller since it was first published in 1986. O'Sullivan reveals the identity of the interesting characters in the travelogue, interviewing several of their descendants and meticulously recreating Leigh Fermor's time spent among the Hungarian nobility. Leigh Fermor's recollections of his 1934 contacts are at once a proof of a lifelong attraction for the aristocracy, and a confirmation of his passionate love of history and understanding of the region. Rich with photos and other rare documents on places and persons both from the 1930s and today, the book offers a compelling social and political history of the period and the area. Described by Professor Norman Stone as "a major work of Hungarian social archaeology," this book provides a portrait of Hungary and Transylvania on the brink of momentous change.

Patrick Leigh Fermor A Life in Letters

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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The first extensive collection of letters written by war hero and travel writing legend Patrick Leigh Fermor. Handsome, spirited, and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor was a war hero and one of the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a wonderful friend. The letters in this collection span almost seventy years, the first written ten days before Paddy’s twenty-fifth birthday, the last when he was ninety-four, and the correspondents include Deborah Devonshire, Nancy Mitford, Lawrence Durrell, Diana Cooper, and his lifelong companion, Joan Rayner. The letters exhibit many of Fermor’s most engaging characteristics: his lust for life, his unending curiosity, his lyrical descriptive powers, his love of language, his exuberance, and his tendency to get into scrapes—particularly when drinking and, quite separately, driving. Here are plenty of extraordinary stories: the hunt for Byron’s slippers in one of the remotest regions of Greece; an ignominious dismissal from Somerset Maugham’s Villa Mauresque; and hiding behind a bush to dub Dirk Bogarde into Greek during the shooting of Ill Met by Moonlight. The letters radiate warmth and gaiety; many are enhanced with witty illustrations and comic verse, while others contain riddles and puns. Every one of them entertains.

In Tearing Haste

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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In spring 1956, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire - youngest of the six legendary Mitford sisters - invited the writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor to visit Lismore Castle, the Devonshires' house in Ireland. This halcyon visit sparked off a deep friendship and a lifelong exchange of sporadic but highly entertaining letters. There can rarely have been such contrasting styles: Debo, unashamed philistine and self-professed illiterate (though suspected by her friends of being a secret reader), darts from subject to subject while Paddy, polyglot, widely read prose virtuoso, replies in the fluent, polished manner that has earned him recognition as one of the finest writers in the English language. Prose notwithstanding, the two friends have much in common: a huge enjoyment of life, youthful high spirits, warmth, generosity and lack of malice. There are glimpses of President Kennedy's inauguration, weekends at Sandringham, stag hunting in France, filming with Errol Flynn in French Equatorial Africa and, above all, of life at Chatsworth, the great house that Debo spent much of her life restoring, and of Paddy in the house that he and his wife Joan designed and built on the southernmost peninsula of Greece.

The Patrick Leigh Fermor Boxed Set

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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A Time to Keep Silence

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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From the French Abbey of St Wandrille to the abandoned and awesome Rock Monasteries of Cappadocia in Turkey, the celebrated travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor studies the rigorous contemplative lives of the monks and the timeless beauty of their monastic surroundings. In his occasional retreats, the peaceful solitude and the calm enchantment of the monasteries was passed on as a kind of 'supernatural windfall' which A Time to Keep Silence so effortlessly records.

Loose As the Wind

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Patrick Leigh Fermor

Author : Artemis Cooper
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Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary, and above all he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water; he was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world. Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his cloest friends as well as having complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship.

Dashing for the Post

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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A revelatory collection of letters written by the author of The Broken Road. Handsome, spirited and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor was a war hero and one of the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a spectacularly gifted friend. The letters in this collection span almost seventy years, the first written ten days before Paddy's twenty-fifth birthday, the last when he was ninety-four. His correspondents include Deborah Devonshire, Ann Fleming, Nancy Mitford, Lawrence Durrell, Diana Cooper and his lifelong companion, Joan Rayner; he wrote his first letter to her in his cell at the monastery Saint Wandrille, the setting for his reflections on monastic life in A Time to Keep Silence. His letters exhibit many of his most engaging characteristics: his zest for life, his unending curiosity, his lyrical descriptive powers, his love of language, his exuberance and his tendency to get into scrapes - particularly when drinking and, quite separately, driving. Here are plenty of extraordinary stories: the hunt for Byron's slippers in one of the remotest regions of Greece; an ignominious dismissal from Somerset Maugham's Villa Mauresque; hiding behind a bush to dub Dirk Bogarde into Greek during the shooting of Ill Met by Moonlight, the film based on the story of General Kreipe's abduction; his extensive travels. Some letters contain glimpses of the great and the good, while others are included purely for the joy of the jokes.

Drink Time

Author : Dolores Payás
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A delightful and moving account of one of the finest travel writers of the 20th century, the author of The Broken Road and A Time of GiftsIn 2009 Dolores Payás, Spanish translator of several of Patrick Leigh Fermor's books, visited her subject in his house in Greece for the first time. Out of this encounter emerged a friendship that lasted until Fermor's death in 2011. It was from those hours spent together chatting that this charming, personal, and soulful sketch of the English author and traveler was born—a man made fascinating by his life story, his charisma, his generosity, and his talent. This short book conveys a portrait of a man who became indomitable, proud, and charming in old age while retaining his other attributes. A snapshot of the colorful adventurer in his final years surrounded by drinks, guests, and above all his books, it is an original and witty study in nostalgia mixed with personal fortitude.

More Dashing

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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The second volume of exuberant, lively letters from legendary travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor The first collection of letters from Patrick Leigh Fermor, Dashing for the Post, delighted critics and public alike. This second volume, More Dashing, presents a further selection of letters that exude a zest for life and adventure characteristic of the man known to all as 'Paddy'. Paddy's exuberant letters contain glimpses of the great and the good- a chance conversation with the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, when Paddy opens the wrong door, or a glass of ouzo under the pine trees with Harold Macmillan. They describe encounters with such varied figures as Jackie Onassis, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Oswald Mosley and Peter Mandelson, while also relating adventures with the humble- a 'pick-nick' with the stonemasons at Kardamyli, or a drunken celebration in the Cretan mountains with his old comrades from the Resistance, most of them simple shepherds and goatherds. Paddy was at ease in any company o unfailingly charming, boyish, gentle and fun. Patrick Leigh Fermor has long been recognised as one of the greatest travel writers of his time. Nowhere is his restless curiosity and delight in language more dazzlingly displayed than in his letters, skilfully edited in this collection by Adam Sisman.

The Ariadne Objective

Author : Wes Davis
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In the bleakest years of the Second World War when it appeared that nothing could slow the advance of the German army, Hitler set his sights on the Mediterranean island of Crete, the ideal staging ground for domination of the Middle East. But German command had not counted on the strength of the Cretan resistance or the eccentric band of British intelligence officers who would stand in their way, conducting audacious sabotage operations in the very shadow of the Nazi occupation force. The Ariadne Objective tells the remarkable story of the secret war on Crete from the perspective of these amateur soldiers who found themselves serving because, as one of them put it, they had made 'the obsolete choice of Greek at school'. John Pendlebury, a swashbuckling archaeologist with a glass eye and a swordstick; Xan Fielding, a writer who would later produce the English translations of books like Bridge on the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes; Sandy Rendel, a future Times reporter, who prided himself on a disguise that left him looking more ragged and fierce than the Cretans he fought alongside; and Patrick Leigh Fermor, the future travel-writing luminary who, as a teenager in the early 1930s, walked across Europe, a continent already beginning to feel the effects of Hitler's rise to power. Having infiltrated occupied Crete, these British gentleman spies teamed with Cretan partisans to carry out a cunning plan to disrupt Nazi manoeuvres, culminating in a daring, high-risk plot to abduct the island’s German commander. In this thrilling and little known episode of Second World War history, Wes Davis paints a brilliant portrait of some extraordinary characters and tells a story of triumph against all the odds.

Mani

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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The author describes his travels through the mountains of southern Greece, exploring the isolated peninsula of Mani, at which time could only be accessed by boat during the early twentieth century.

Three Letters from the Andes

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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In 1971 the celebrated traveller Patrick Leigh Fermor accompanied five friends on a remarkable journey into the high Andes of Peru. His adventure took him from Cuzco to Urubamba, on to Puno and Juli on Lake Titicaca, down to Arequipa and finally back to Lima. The expedition was led by a writer and poet and the party included a Swiss international skier and jeweller, a social anthropologist from Provence and a Nottinghamshire farming squire - all seasoned mountaineers. The other two participants - the author himself and a botany-loving duke - were complete novices. As the group travelled from Lima into increasingly remote parts of the country, Leigh Fermor captured their experiences in a series of letters to his wife. Whether recounting the thrill of crossing a glacier, the rigours of campsite life under a blanket of snow, their lively encounters with locals or the strangely moving sight of a lone condor circling in the sky, the author vividly conveys the excitement of discovery and the intense uniqueness of the land.

Violins of St Jacques

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Abducting a General

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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A daring behind-enemy-lines mission from the author of A Time of Gifts and The Broken Road, who was once described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. Although a story often told, this is the first time Patrick Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnapping of General Kriepe, has been published. One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor's remarkable life was the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete, on 26 April 1944. He and Captain Billy Moss hatched a daring plan to abduct the general, while ensuring that no reprisals were taken against the Cretan population. Dressed as German military police, they stopped and took control of Kreipe's car, drove through twenty-two German checkpoints, then succeeded in hiding from the German army before finally being picked up on a beach in the south of the island and transported to safety in Egypt on 14 May. Abducting a General is Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnap, published for the first time. Written in his inimitable prose, and introduced by acclaimed Special Operations Executive historian Roderick Bailey, it is a glorious first-hand account of one of the great adventures of the Second World War. Also included in this book are Leigh Fermor's intelligence reports, sent from caves deep within Crete yet still retaining his remarkable prose skills, which bring the immediacy of SOE operations vividly alive, as well as the peril which the SOE and Resistance were operating under; and a guide to the journey that Kreipe was taken on, as seen in the 1957 film Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde, from the abandonment of his car to the embarkation site so that the modern visitor can relive this extraordinary event.

The Rock monasteries of Cappadocia

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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In Tearing Haste

Author : Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire
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In the spring of 1956, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, youngest of the six legendary Mitford sisters—invited the writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor to visit Lismore Castle, the Devonshires’ house in Ireland. The halcyon visit sparked a deep friendship and a lifelong exchange of sporadic but highly entertaining letters. There rarely have been such contrasting styles: Debo, unashamed philistine and self-professed illiterate (though suspected by her friends of being a secret reader), darts from subject to subject, dashing off letters in her “whizz-bang planchette style”; while Paddy, polyglot, widely read prose virtuoso, replies in the fluent, polished manner that has earned him recognition as one of the finest writers in the English language. Prose notwithstanding, the two friends have much in common: a huge enjoyment of life, youthful high spirits, warmth, generosity, and lack of malice. There are glimpses of President Kennedy’s inauguration, weekends at Sandringham, stag hunting in France, filming with Errol Flynn, and, above all, life at Chatsworth, the great house that Debo spent much of her life restoring, and of Paddy in the house that he and his wife, Joan, designed and built on the southernmost peninsula of Greece.

In Tearing Haste Ssb

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Roumeli

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Patrick Leigh Fermor's Mani compellingly revealed a hidden world of Southern Greece and its past. Its northern counterpart takes the reader among Sarakatsan shepherds, the monasteries of Meteora and the villages of Krakora, among itinerant pedlars and beggars, and even tracks down at Missolonghi a pair of Byron's slippers. Roumeli is not on modern maps: it is the ancient name for the lands from the Bosphorus to the Adriatic and from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth. But it is the perfect, evocative name for the Greece that Fermor captures in writing that carries throughout his trademark vividness of description. But what is more, the pictures of people, traditions and landscapes that he creates on the page are imbued with an intimate understanding of Greece and its history.

Words of Mercury

Author : Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Patrick Leigh Fermor was only 18 when he set off to walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, described many years later in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. It was during these early wanderings that he started to pick up languages, and where he developed his extraordinary sense of the continuity of history: a quality that deepens the colours of every place he writes about, from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the cell of a Trappist monastery. His experiences in wartime Crete sealed the deep affection he had already developed for Greece, a country whose character and customs he celebrates in two books, Mani and Roumeli, and where he has lived for over forty years. Whether he is drawing portraits in Vienna or sketching Byron's slippers in Missolonghi, the Leigh Fermor touch is unmistakable. Its infectious enthusiasm is driven by an insatiable curiosity and an omnivorous mind - all inspired by a passion for words and language that makes him one of the greatest prose writers of his generation.