At the age of eighteen, Leigh Fermor set off from
the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk
to Constantinople. The journey that he began in
1933—to cross Europe on foot with an ‘emergency’ allowance
of a pound a day—proved so rich in experiences
that when much later he sat down to describe them, they
overflowed into more than one volume. Undertaken as
the storms of war gathered, and providing a context
for unfolding events in Central Europe, this journey
has captivated generations.
At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a
journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language,
these volumes present a portrait of a continent already
showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.
|A Time of Gifts is
the rich and sparkling account of Leigh Fermor's adventures as far
as Hungary. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence,
the book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler
has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks
through a Europe soon to be forever changed—through
the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands,
through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire,
up the Rhine and down to the Danube.
|| The opening of Between
the Woods and the Water finds Leigh Fermor crossing
the Danube, at the moment where the first volume left
off. He takes the reader with him downriver to Budapest,
then on horseback across the Great Hungarian Plain and
over the Rumanian border into Transylvania. Remote castles,
mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges that
are the haunt of bears, wolves, eagles, gypsies and a
variety of sects are all savored in the approach to the
Iron Gates dividing the Carpathian mountains and the
Balkans where, for now, the account ends.
||The Broken Road is the long-awaited account of the final leg of this youthful adventure that Leigh Fermor promised but was unable to finish before his death in 2011. Assembled from his manuscripts by his biographer Artemis Cooper and the travel writer Colin Thubron, the book catches up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934, follows him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea, and ends with his arrival in Greece, the country he would fall in love with, fight for, and make his home. Perhaps the most personal of all his books, this one brings a wonderful literary adventure to a delightful and memorable end.