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Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was an intrepid traveler, a heroic soldier, and a celebrated writer. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Order of the British Empire, and was knighted for his services to literature and British- Greek relations. NYRB Classics and New York Review Books publish several of his works of travel writing, including A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and Water, The Broken Road, The Traveller's Tree, A Time to Keep Silence, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, and Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece, as well as his memoir, Abducting a General. Adam Sisman is the author of several biographies, most recently of John le Carre. His Boswell's Presumptuous Task won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography. He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of St. Andrews.