Related to: 'Patrick Leigh Fermor'

Robert Macfarlane delights in a biography of his writer-adventurer hero

Fantastic review in The Guardian

'Patrick Leigh Fermor survived enough assaults on his existence to make Rasputin seem like a quitter . . . He was elegant as a cat, darkly handsome, unboreable, curious, fearless, fortunate, blessed with a near eidetic memory, and is surely one of the great English prose stylists of his generation . . . '

John Murray

In Tearing Haste

Patrick Leigh Fermor, Deborah Devonshire

In spring 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. This halcyon visit sparked off a deep friendship and a lifelong exchange of sporadic but highly entertaining letters.There can rarely have been such contrasting styles: Debo, unashamed philistine and self-professed illiterate (though suspected by her friends of being a secret reader), darts from subject to subject while Paddy, polyglot, widely read prose virtuoso, replies in the fluent, polished manner that has earned him recognition as one of the finest writers in the English language.Prose notwithstanding, the two friends have much in common: a huge enjoyment of life, youthful high spirits, warmth, generosity and lack of malice. There are glimpses of President Kennedy's inauguration, weekends at Sandringham, stag hunting in France, filming with Errol Flynn in French Equatorial Africa and, above all, of life at Chatsworth, the great house that Debo spent much of her life restoring, and of Paddy in the house that he and his wife Joan designed and built on the southernmost peninsula of Greece.

John Murray

The Broken Road

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

Words of Mercury

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

Along the Enchanted Way

William Blacker

When William Blacker first crossed the snow-bound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world.There, for many years he lived side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world. In spring as the pear trees blossomed he ploughed with horses, in summer he scythed the hay meadows and in the freezing winters gathered wood by sleigh from the forest. From sheepfolds harried by wolves, to courting expeditions in the snow, he experienced the traditional way of life to the full, and became accepted into a community who treated him as one of their own. But Blacker was also intrigued by the Gypsies, those dark, foot-loose strangers of spell-binding allure who he saw passing through the village. Locals warned him to stay clear but he fell in love and there followed a bitter struggle.Change is now coming to rural Romania, and William Blacker's adventures will soon be part of its history. From his early carefree days tramping the hills of Transylvania, to the book's poignant ending, Along the Enchanted Way transports us back to a magical country world most of us thought had vanished long ago.

Interview with Artemis Cooper

'Everyone fell in love with Paddy Leigh Fermor'

Read the Telegraph's interview with Artemis Cooper, where the biographer talks about Patrick Leigh Fermor, the impact he had on others, and writing his biography.

John Murray

Abducting a General

Patrick Leigh Fermor

One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor's remarkable life was the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete, on 26 April 1944. He and Captain Billy Moss hatched a daring plan to abduct the general, while ensuring that no reprisals were taken against the Cretan population. Dressed as German military police, they stopped and took control of Kreipe's car, drove through twenty-two German checkpoints, then succeeded in hiding from the German army before finally being picked up on a beach in the south of the island and transported to safety in Egypt on 14 May.Abducting a General is Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnap, published for the first time. Written in his inimitable prose, and introduced by acclaimed SOE historian Professor Roderick Bailey, it is a glorious first-hand account of one of the great adventures of the Second World War. Also included in this book are Leigh Fermor's intelligence reports, sent from caves deep within Crete yet still retaining his remarkable prose skills, which bring the immediacy of SOE operations vividly alive, as well as the peril which the SOE and Resistance were operating under; and a guide to the journey that Kreipe was taken on from the abandonment of his car to the embarkation site so that the modern visitor can relive this extraordinary event.

New appointments and acquisitions at John Murray Press

Hodder & Stoughton's new division John Murray Press has made key appointments in their sales and communications departments. Ben Gutcher, previously Digital Key Account Director at Hodder & Stoughton, has begun his new role as Sales Director for John Murray Press, overseeing sales across all five imprints within the new division: John Murray (Publishers), Hodder Faith, Consumer Learning, Two Roads and Saltyard Books. Hodder Publicity Director Rosie Gailer has been appointed Communications Director for the new division, and Lyndsey Ng has also moved across to the John Murray Press communications department as Publicity Manager. The moves come as part of the Hodder & Stoughton restructure, creating specialist sales, publicity and marketing teams for the divisions. It signals the start of an exciting second half of 2013 for John Murray Press, with highlight titles over the coming months including the much anticipated third volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's travel trilogy, THE BROKEN ROAD, Michael Rosen's ALPHABETICAL, the official story of the discovery of Richard III’s remains THE KING’S GRAVE, and SCHOTTENFREUDE, the new book by bestseller Ben Schott. John Murray Press have also recently lined up a roster of high-profile titles for 2014 and beyond: John Murray Press Managing Director Nick Davies has acquired a new book by Amanda Vickery – the acclaimed historian, prize winning author and broadcaster will turn her gaze on the 1950s in MODERN GIRLS, a social history focusing on the lives of women in a period of enormous change. Davies struck a deal for UK & Commonwealth Rights with Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates. Davies has also bought rights to the letters of Roald Dahl, compiled by Donald Sturrock, whose 2011 biography of Dahl was widely praised. Dahl was a prolific letter writer from the age of 9 and for the last thirty years of his life he spent two hours a day on correspondence. Full of his wit and his darker, more troubled side, LETTERS FROM DAHL will be published to coincide with the Dahl centenary in 2016. Roland Philipps has struck a deal with Ed Victor for a new history of women in the twentieth century from acclaimed social historian Juliet Nicolson. Philipps has also secured World English language rights to a biography of Elizabeth Jane Howard by Artemis Cooper, author of 2012’s hugely acclaimed biography PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR. In a hotly fought auction, John Murray Publisher Georgina Laycock acquired WHAT IF? by ex-NASA scientist Randall Munroe, whose cult webcomic xkcd.com/ has had more than a billion page hits and featured in Wired magazine as one of their 20 key influences of the last 20 years, alongside Steve Jobs and online dating. WHAT IF (acquired from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein and coming out in October 2014) will answer all your questions about science. In another auction, Laycock has just snapped up THE DARLEY ARABIAN, a vivid history of racing through the stories of 25 exceptional horses, from the Independent's award-winning racing correspondent Chris McGrath. The agent is Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates and the book will come out in 2015. Meanwhile Publishing Director Eleanor Birne has also acquired two new titles: from Tracy Bohan at The Wylie Agency, a new book by Craig Taylor, NEW YORKERS, which will do the same for the US city as his much loved LONDONERS did for the UK capital and will be published in 2016; and from Barney Karpfinger at The Karpfinger Agency LILLIAN ON LIFE by Alison Lester, a brilliantly written, sassy debut novel that will appeal to readers of The Best Of Everything and fans of Mad Men. LILLIAN ON LIFE will be published in July 2014. Nick Davies says: ‘I am delighted to welcome Ben, Rosie and Lyndsey to the John Murray Press team. Their expertise is considerable and their passion for books infectious. They're already having a considerable impact on our strong autumn list and are helping to build an exciting new generation of writers here at John Murray.’ For further information or for more details on titles mentioned above, please contact Rosie Gailer: 020 7873 6452 or rosie.gailer@hodder.co.uk

Extract

GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT LOUD, by Emma Henderson

Read an excerpt of Emma Henderson's GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT ALL, shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2011.

John Murray

Mani

Patrick Leigh Fermor

This is Patrick Leigh Fermor's spellbinding part-travelogue, part inspired evocation of a part of Greece's past. Joining him in the Mani, one of Europe's wildest and most isolated regions, cut off from the rest of Greece by the towering Taygettus mountain range and hemmed in by the Aegean and Ionian seas, we discover a rocky central prong of the Peleponnese at the southernmost point in Europe.Bad communications only heightening the remoteness, this Greece - south of ancient Sparta - is one that maintains perhaps a stronger relationship with the ancient past than with the present. Myth becomes history, and vice versa... Leigh Fermor's hallmark descriptive writing and capture of unexpected detail have made this book, first published in 1958, a classic - together with its Northern Greece counterpart, Roumeli.

Patrick Leigh Fermor

In December 1933, at the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) walked across Europe, reaching Constantinople in early 1935. He travelled on into Greece, where in Athens he met Balasha Cantacuzene, with whom he lived - mostly in Rumania - until the outbreak of war. Serving in occupied Crete, he led a successful operation to kidnap a German general, for which he won the DSO. After the war he began writing, and travelled extensively round Greece with Joan Eyres Monsell whom he later married. Towards the end of his life he wrote the first two books about his early trans-European odyssey, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He planned a third, unfinished at the time of his death in 2011, which has since been edited by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper and published as The Broken Road.

John Murray

A Time to Keep Silence

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

A Time of Gifts

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

The Traveller's Tree

Patrick Leigh Fermor

John Murray

Between the Woods and the Water

Patrick Leigh Fermor

The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary. Picking up from the very spot on a bridge across the Danube where his readers last saw him, we travel on with him across the great Hungarian Plain on horseback, and over the Romanian border to Transylvania.The trip was an exploration of a continent which was already showing signs of the holocaust which was to come. Although frequently praised for his lyrical writing, Fermor's account also provides a coherent understanding of the dramatic events then unfolding in Middle Europe. But the delight remains in travelling with him in his picaresque journey past remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges.Although Between the Woods and the Water was published nine years after A Time of Gifts, Fermor is famously still at work on the concluding part of his trilogy.

John Murray

Roumeli

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

The Violins of Saint-Jacques

Patrick Leigh Fermor
John Murray

Three Letters from the Andes

Patrick Leigh Fermor

In 1971 the celebrated traveller Patrick Leigh Fermor accompanied five friends on a remarkable journey into the high Andes of Peru. His adventure took him from Cuzco to Urubamba, on to Puno and Juli on Lake Titicaca, down to Arequipa and finally back to Lima.The expedition was led by a writer and poet and the party included a Swiss international skier and jeweller, a social anthropologist from Provence and a Nottinghamshire farming squire - all seasoned mountaineers. The other two participants - the author himself and a botany-loving duke - were complete novices. As the group travelled from Lima into increasingly remote parts of the country, Leigh Fermor captured their experiences in a series of letters to his wife.Whether recounting the thrill of crossing a glacier, the rigours of campsite life under a blanket of snow, their lively encounters with locals or the strangely moving sight of a lone condor circling in the sky, the author vividly conveys the excitement of discovery and the intense uniqueness of the land.

17 Sep
Ivy House, 94-96 North End Road, London, NW11 7SX

Artemis Cooper at Ham & High Festival

Artemis Cooper will be speaking about The Broken Road at Ham & High Literary Festival.

Two Roads

Until I Say Good-Bye

Bret Witter, Susan Spencer-Wendel

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWhat would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry.In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining.She decided to live that year with joy.She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she would never attend.She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy.