Patrick Leigh Fermor

British author, scholar and soldier, widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer"...

Patrick Leigh Fermor

Biography

Date of birth: 11 February 1915

Leigh Fermor's father, Sir Lewis, was a distinguished geologist. Shortly after Patrick was born, his mother left to join his father in India, leaving him behind with another family. As a child, Leigh Fermor had problems with academic structure and limitations. As a result, he was sent to a school for difficult children. He was later expelled from The King's School, Canterbury on the pretext that he was caught holding hands with a local greengrocer's daughter. He continued educating himself, reading texts on Greek, Latin, Shakespeare and History with the intention of entering the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

He soon decided, however, at just 18, to walk the length of Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. Leigh Fermor set off on 8 December 1933, when Hitler had recently come to power in Germany, with a few clothes, the Oxford Book of English Verse and a volume of Horace's Odes . He slept in barns and shepherds' huts, but also in the country houses of Central Europe with the landed gentry and aristocracy.

Two of his subsequent travel books, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water , detail this journey and, as they were written decades later, benefit from his scholarly learning, giving a wealth of historical, geographical, linguistic and anthropological information as the narrative proceeds.

In February 2004, Patrick Leigh Fermor accepted the knighthood which he had declined in 1991; in February 2007, the Greek government made him Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. At the same time, it emerged that, for the first time, he had decided to work using a typewriter - having written all his books long-hand until then.

Similar authors to Patrick Leigh Fermor

Eric Newby, Laurens van der Post and Edward Enfield.

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The Broken Road

The Broken Road

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The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor. A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water were the first two volumes in a projected trilogy that would describe the walk that Patrick Leigh Fermor undertook at the...
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More books by Patrick Leigh Fermor

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Format: Paperback 384 pages
Published: 10/04/2014
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor. A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water were the first two volumes... Read more

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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Format: Paperback 304 pages
Published: 15/03/2004
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of... Read more

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Between the Woods and the Water: on Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates

Between the Woods and the Water: on Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Format: Paperback 256 pages
Published: 08/04/2004
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the... Read more

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Words of Mercury

Words of Mercury (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor, et al.

Format: Paperback 288 pages
Published: 19/07/2004
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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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... Read more

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Three Letters from the Andes (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Format: Paperback 128 pages
Published: 03/01/2005
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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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... Read more

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Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece

Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece (Paperback)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Format: Paperback 256 pages
Published: 19/07/2004
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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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... Read more

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In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor

In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor (Paperback)

by Deborah Devonshire, et al.

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Published: 09/07/2009
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd

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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... Read more

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