Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters

Publisher : New York Review of Books

ISBN-13 : 1681371561

Page : 512 pages

Rating : 4.5/5 from 561 voters

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.

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