Clare Longrigg was born in England in 1963. She is a journalist and has worked on the Guardian and the Independent. She has written widely about the Italian mafia. She lives in London.
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 and was once described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. 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.
James Lees-Milne died in 1997. Once Country Houses Secretary of the National Trust, he is now best known for his memoirs and diaries, described by Jeremy Lewis as second to none in their comicality, rueful self-knowledge and feline observations.
After a four-year enlistment in the US Air Force, John Lathrop attended university in Los Angeles and then spent time in the southern Philippines in the US Peace Corps. This was followed by almost a decade and a half in the Middle East, primarily Saudi Arabia. He is the author of The Desert Contract and spent several months in Phnom Penh, researching The End of the Monsoon.