Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure
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Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

3.94 (664 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Patrick Leigh Fermor's enviably colorful life took off when in 1934, at the age of eighteen, he decided to walk across Europe. In just over a year he had trekked through nine countries and taught himself three languages, and his enthusiasm and curiosity for every kind of experience made him equally happy in caves or country houses, among shepherds or countesses. At the outbreak of war he left his lover, Princess Balasha Cantacuzene, in Romania and returned to England to enlist. Commissioned into the Intelligence Corps, he became one of the handful of Allied officers supporting the Cretan resistance to the German occupation. In 1944 he commanded the Anglo-Cretan team that abducted General Heinrich Kreipe and spirited him away to Egypt. A journey to the Caribbean, stays in monasteries, and explorations all over Greece provided the subjects for his first books. It was not until he and his wife had moved to southern Greece that he returned to his earliest walk. In these books, which took many years to write, he created a vision of a prewar Europe, which in its beauty and abundance has never been equaled. Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Leigh Fermor and his closest friends, and has had complete access to his archive. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts--no one wore their learning so playfully nor inspired such passionate friendship.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 162 x 230 x 34mm | 799.99g
  • NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
  • United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 16 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS
  • 159017674X
  • 9781590176740
  • 20,740

Review quote

One of "The Independent"'s "50 Best Winter Reads" Short-listed for the inaugural Waterstones "Book of the Year" "Patrick Leigh Fermor, who died last year [2011] at the age of 96, was one of the travel-writing greats, a war hero who related his journeys as a young man through Europe in classics such as "A Time of Gifts" and "Between the Woods and the Water." Artemis Cooper draws on years of interviews with the author and his friends in this much-anticipated biography." --"The Guardian" "He lived an inspirationally heterodox life that combined adventure and reflection in unique measure. His story has hitherto been known only in parts, and mostly through the refractive prism of his own telling. At last his biography has been detailed in full, in Artemis Cooper's tender and excellent book. Reading it is an odd experience: there is the melancholy of having one's hero humanised, joined with renewed astonishment at the miracle he made of himself." --"The Guardian" " " "Artemis Cooper's funny, wise, learned but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through. The artifice of effortless gentility is blown away and Paddy is revealed as a much more interesting character, a fascinatingly self-made and self-educated man. He is also placed in the pantheon of literary liggers, a consummate lifelong freeloader, a prince among sponge-artists, which he paid for with his unique energy, talent and enthusiasm for song, dance, talk, memorised verse, drink and other men's wives." --"The Independent" " " "A captivating biography.... It is not easy writing a biography of someone who has poured so much of his own life into his books, but Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job. The story rips along, as Leigh Fermor's life did, with friends and lovers, books and journeys and parties, all milling and jostling around him in a noisy and joyous throng. And in the quieter moments we are left with something far more enduring:show more

About Artemis Cooper

Artemis Cooper is the author of several books, including "Cairo in the War, 1939-1945"; the authorized biography of Elizabeth David, "Writing at the Kitchen Table"; and with her husband, the historian Antony Beevor, "Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949." Among the volumes she has edited are Patrick Leigh Fermor's "Words of Mercury" and the correspondence between Evelyn Waugh and Cooper's famous grandmother, Lady Diana Cooper. Six books by Patrick Leigh Fermor are published by NYRB Classics: "A Time of Gifts"; "Between the Woods and the Water"; "A Time to Keep Silence"; "Mani"; "Roumeli"; and "The Traveller's Tree." Also, NYRB is the publisher of "In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor."show more

Rating details

664 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 31% (208)
4 41% (272)
3 20% (135)
2 6% (39)
1 2% (10)
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