Patrick Leigh Fermor
Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) was an intrepid traveler and a heroic soldier who is widely considered to be one of the finest travel writers of the twentieth century. After his stormy school days, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in A Time of Gifts
(1977) and continues through Between the Woods and the Water
(1986) and The Broken Road
(published posthumously in 2013), he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek archipelago. His books A Time to Keep Silence
(1958) and Roumeli
(1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, and fought in Greece and Crete. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. Leigh Fermor lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani—and partly in Worcestershire. In 2004 he was knighted for his services to literature and to British–Greek relations. Artemis Cooper’s biography, Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure
, was published by New York Review Books in 2013. Author photo: Patrick Leigh Fermor.