Patrick Leigh Fermor 1915-2011

Jun 17th, 2011, 04:34 AM
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Patrick Leigh Fermor 1915-2011

http://patrickleighfermor.wordpress....ero/#more-2278
farrermog is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 04:39 AM
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What an interesting man... what an interesting life. Thanks for posting.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 04:43 AM
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A wonderful writer, too.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 04:54 AM
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I meant to say, particularly (for European travellers) "A Time of Gifts" and "Between the Woods and the Water" - travel as it used to be in the 1930s (if you had contacts, and all the time in the world as well as an enquiring mind).
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Jun 17th, 2011, 05:04 AM
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Had no idea he was still alive! Always surprising that such an adventurer survives to "die in bed."

The obituary makes much of his role in the Bitish resistance in Crete, and particularly the feat of kidnapping of the Nazi commandant there. THis made for wonderful adventure books & movies ... but was only one side of the story. The British underground support of the Cretan resistance during the German occupation was strategic and helpful but, alas, the kidnapping was not. It later emerged that the German forces, knowing they were defeated or stalemated in Crete, were covertly negotiating with resistance forces for a withdrawal ... ability to leave with troops & equipment, without fighting. However the kidnapping -- a classic bit of schoolboy heroics -- resulted in savage Nazi reprisals, including burning of entire villages and slaughter of of hundreds of inhabitants and wholesale destruction of crops in revenge. This is documented in many histories of the war ... and anecdotally, in a 2005 book, "Tales from A Greek Island" (Jinkinson). Just an interesting sidelight on WWII history.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 05:20 AM
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Would also recommend the collection of his writings in Words of Mercury; Patrick Leigh Fermor edited by Artemis Cooper (2003).
farrermog is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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He lived most of the time in Kardamyli, about an hour away from me, on the Peloponnese, Greece. His account of his travels in the Mani years ago (mountainous, very few roads, feuding villagers etc) makes for amazing reading, especially if anyone knows the area & can realise what an undertking some of the journeys were. A true 'traveller', in every sense of the word.
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Jun 17th, 2011, 05:32 AM
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Strangely enough he also lived in Northamptonshire for a while as a child, which is where I spent the first 50 years of my life!
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Jun 17th, 2011, 05:48 AM
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I am sorry to hear of his death. I have read almost all of his books and loved them (having spent a lot of time in Greece as a child/teen). I agree that his stories of the Mani were quite amazing. I always envied him and his travels between the wars. It must have been an amazing (in all senses of the word) time to travel.
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Jun 17th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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At one point he commanded my dad's Irish Guards platoon in North Africa and Greece. Dad claimed, over a few glasses of Paddy, to have been his radio operator at one point.

Sir Patrick, apparently, never once mentioned how he'd spent the pre-war years. And Dad was gobsmacked to see, on my bookshelves, that his former platoon commander later came to write so many books (not a skill for which Irish Guards officers are famous, unless the books are about hunting).

For an answer to those "what's off the beaten track" posts: buy Into Mani (it has to be a hard copy, because you can't navigate in the Peloponnese from a Kindle), hire a car and try following Leigh-Fermor's book on the ground. Ending in a butt of Malmsey, of course.
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Jun 17th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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With Leigh-Fermor and Eric Newby both gone now, the world is a lesser place.
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Jun 22nd, 2011, 03:13 AM
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I'm looking forward to volume three of his walk across Europe.
www.travelmagpie.com
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Jul 4th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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Farrermog, thanks so much for your post which introduced me to Patrick Leigh Fermor – never heard of him before. Love his style! I am half way through A TIME OF GIFTS and expect to read his other books. Although few would have the chutzpa and fortitude to venture a walk across Europe in winter yet, his description of so many of his stops still has resonance for European travelers.

One example – his sojourn at the Red Ox tavern in Heidelberg and the kindness of its owners, the Stengel family, was touching and brought back memories of a great lunch we enjoyed there a few years back. His nostalgia for home when he saw the English speaking skiers in Salzburg was poignant too. A great read….
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