Patrick Leigh Fermor

British author, scholar and soldier....

01/02/1915 - 10/07/2011

Patrick Leigh Fermor biography and information

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In February 2004, he 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 NewbyLaurens van der Post and Edward Enfield.

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Books by Patrick Leigh Fermor

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My Book of the Year... Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Posted on 27th Nov, 2012

Greg Eden, our Online Content and Community Manager, tells us why Artemis Cooper's retelling of the adventures of Patrick Leigh Fermor is his Waterstones Book of the Year...