A Time of Gifts

By Patrick Leigh Fermor; Jan Morris (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590171653, 321pp.)

Publication Date: October 2005

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Description
At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey--to walk to Constantinople. "A Time of Gifts" is the rich account of his adventures as far as Hungary, after which "Between the Woods and the Water" continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence, Leigh Fermor's book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks through a Europe soon to be forever changed--through the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands, through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire; up the Rhine, and down to the Danube.
At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language, "A Time of Gifts" is also a portrait of a continent already showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.



About the Author
Patrick Leigh Fermor was born in 1915 of English and Irish descent. After his stormy schooldays, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in "A Time of Gifts" and continues through "Between the Woods and the Water," he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek Archipelago. His books "Mani" and "Roumeli" 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. He now lives partly in Greece, in the house he designed with his wife Joan in an olive grove in the Mani, and partly in Worcestershire. He was knighted in 2004 for his services to literature and to British-Greek relations.

Jan Morris, who has been writing about the world for fifty years, is the author of Coronation Everest, Venice, and Manhattan 45, among many other books. She lives in Wales.
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