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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.
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From his birthplace in Weedon Bec in Northamptonshire, across Europe on foot to Constantinople, through the Second World War, abducting generals in the Mediterranean and after the war travelling and writing - Patrick Leigh Fermor's life was truly an adventure.Review:
"The most beautifully written of modern "travel books" -- an awkward term -- may well be Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts (1977) closely followed by its sequel Between the Woods and the Water (1986). These two volumes lyrically memorialize a youthful walk across Europe in 1933-34, starting from the Hook of Holland and passing through Germany and much of Eastern Europe....Artemis Cooper's excellent biography, Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, fills in the details, corrects errors and makes clear that Paddy -- as he was always known -- often conflated incidents or fudged details in his writing, sometimes for reasons of art, sometimes to protect a friend or a woman's reputation." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post"Surprise is the keynote of the best travel writing. The travel writer should be knowledgeable but not an expert, open in mind and body to the unforeseen twists of serendipity. But what we most require from travel writing... is that elusive quality Nick Carraway defined as 'romantic readiness.' Few 20th- century figures combined these traits in a more appealing package than the English writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.....Now Artemis Cooper has written an affectionately intimate, informative and forgiving biography...."-- Christopher Benfey, The New York Times Book Review "This engaging work sheds light on the life of one of Britain's greatest travel writers, with particular detail on his time in Greece, his war escapades, and his struggles with writing. Recommended for lovers of armchair travel and those who enjoyed Sir Patrick's own writings. "-- Library Journal "Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job of piecing together the shards of evidence about this glamorous but elusive writer, who seemed not to be able to resist mixing fact and fiction in his own life story." --John Eliot Gardiner, The Wall Street Journal "A fondly admiring account of the English wayfarer captures his enormously infectious spirit...A solid biography that should introduce more readers to Leigh Fermor's work." --Kirkus Reviews "In her arresting biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor, an ever-curious travel writer known for experiencing locales at ground- level, Cooper, studies a man determined to see the world firsthand, with interviews from family and friends, rare letters, and diaries....Nostalgic and expertly written, Cooper fleshes out Fermor, a man who boldly traveled a world on the edge of catastrophe, which he explained in his writing to a faithful readership." --Publishers Weekly 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  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
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Book Description Brand: New York Review Books, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 159017674X_abe_bn
Book Description New York Review Books, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 159017674X-11-19486334
Book Description Condition: new. Seller Inventory # think159017674X
Book Description New York Review Books, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB159017674X
Book Description New York Review Books, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M159017674X
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-159017674X