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Patrick Leigh Fermor

(b. 1915)


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(1915– ),

travel writer, of English and Irish descent, educated at the King's School, Canterbury. Fermor's journey on foot to Constantinople in 1933 was the subject of a planned trilogy of which two volumes, A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and the Water (1985), have been published. The historical imagination, the sense of place and the evocation of youth, expressed in prose that ranges from the lyrical to the erudite, have been much admired.

After leaving Constantinople, Fermor continued to live in the Balkans and Greece: during the German occupation of Crete he disguised himself as a shepherd and captured the commander of the German forces in Crete, an episode which became the basis of a film, Ill Met by Moonlight (1956). After the war Fermor became director of the British Institute in Athens. His first travel book, The Traveller's Tree (1950), is a vivid account of a journey through the French Caribbean, where his novella, The Violins of Saint‐Jacques (1953), is also set. He also published accounts of travels in the southern Peloponnese (Mani, 1958) and Northern Greece (Rommeli, 1966). A Time to Keep Silence (1957) and Three Letters from the Andes (1991) originate in letters to his wife.

Subjects: Literature.


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