Between the Woods and the Water
On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
The second great Patrick Leigh Fermor classic - and the sequel to A Time of Gifts - reissued in paperback with an Introduction by Jan Morris
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.
The concluding part of the trilogy was published in September 2013 as The Broken Road.
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.
- Other details
- Publication date:
08 Apr 2004
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Between the Woods and the Water is a book so good your resent finishing it. — Sunday Times
'The finest travelling companion we could ever have... His head is stocked with cultural lore and poetic fancy to make every league an adventure.' Christopher Hudson — Evening Standard
As full of zest, joy and delight as its predecessor — Country Life
He is exploring the very furthest boundaries of the genre. — Jan Morris, The Times
The most enjoyable living writer to be published this year — Peter Levi, The Spectator
I have never enjoyed a travel book more and I would doubt if I will ever enjoy one so much again — Robin Lane Fox
Rightly considered to be among the most beautiful travel books in the language — Independent
Bringing the landscape alive as no other writer can, he uses his profound and eclectic understanding of cultures and peoples ... to paint vivid pictures - nobody has illuminated the geography of Europe better — Geographical Magazine
John Murray is doing the decent thing and reissuing all of Leigh Fermor's main books ... But what else would you expect from a publisher whose commitment to geography is such that for more than two centuries it has widened our understanding of the world? — Geographical Magazine
'For a spirited introduction [to the Balkans] try Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of a 1930s walk from Hungary to Romania and Bulgaria...rich in local history and a formative book in the rise of modern travel writing' - David Mattin — The Times