Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Books
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
In Tearing Haste (Paperback)Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor
by Patrick Leigh Fermor and Deborah Devonshire, edited by Charlotte Mosley
In the spring of 1956, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, youngest of the six legendary Mitford sisters, invited the writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor to visit Lismore Castle, the Devonshires’ house in Ireland. The halcyon visit sparked a deep friendship and a lifelong exchange of highly entertaining correspondence.
Spanning 1954 to 2007, the volume reads like an accidental memoir of a disappearing world stretching from the manor houses of the English aristocracy to the olive groves of Greece, its people and places rendered with a kind of care that's becoming scarce in our age of helter-skelter communication. At the same time, the book's title, a phrase deriving from Leigh Fermor's habit of dashing off messages 'with a foot in the stirrup,' captures the vigor and bustle of the lives that nourished the correspondence....In Tearing Haste is engaging from start to finish. There isn't a dull letter among Charlotte Mosley's selections. Even her annotations, often incorporating information from the book's two correspondents, are as surprising as they are informative....More than anything else, the collection is important as an addition to Leigh Fermor's body of work, both because his letters constitute a larger portion of the volume and because the writing in them harmonizes with the books that established his literary reputation.
This is a book that evokes a lost world of glamour, intelligence and personal scruples. The memory of its pristine landscapes, resolute gaiety and eccentric characters leaves a glorious afterglow.
Spanning half a century, bursting with wit and conviviality...the result is surely one of the great 20th-century correspondences.
—The Observer (London)
This marvelous correspondence celebrates two of the most important things in the world, courage and friendship
Highly engaging exchanges of mutual joie de vivre
...[A]s full of fizz and conviviality as a glass of champagne.
A feast for reading...An enchanting book
Chatty, witty, teasing, gossipy, relentlessly cheerful and with more than a hint of modest good sense, her short replies bounce off his beautiful essays like volleys of tennis balls off a cathedral.