Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Artemis Cooper

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary, and above all he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water; he was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world. Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his closest friends as well as having complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship. 4.4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Travel
Format Hardback
Pages 464
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-0719554490
Publisher John Murray
 

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary, and above all he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water; he was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world. Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his closest friends as well as having complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship.

Read an extract from the book | Telegraph

Reviews

The Guardian

Robert MacFarlane

[A] tender and excellent book. Reading it is an odd experience: there is the melancholy of having one's hero humanised, joined with renewed astonishment at the miracle he made of himself … [An] outstanding biography

13/10/2012

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The Independent

Barnaby Rogerson

I have disliked the cult of Paddy Leigh Fermor ever since reading Between the Woods and the Water … But, fortunately, I find myself to be totally in the wrong. Artemis Cooper's funny, wise, learned but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through. The artifice of effortless gentility is blown away and Paddy is revealed as a much more interesting character, a fascinatingly self-made and self-educated man.

13/10/2012

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The Observer

Anthony Sattin

This is not a perfect book. There is too little analysis of man and motives and not enough probing throughout, as though Cooper could still imagine the wild family friend leaning over her shoulder as she wrote. But then Fermor was far from perfect himself. Instead he was funny, learned, sexy, irrepressible, flawed yet much loved, remarkable and, at times, brilliant — not unlike this book.

21/10/2012

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The Spectator

Philip Mansel

Perceptive, haunting and highly readable … This is not just the life of a charmer. It is also a book about the process of writing. Cooper, whose admiration does not blunt her critical sense, shows how Paddy blurred the frontiers between truth and fiction. Imagination often replaced memory. In parts of some books he was ‘making a novel of his life’.

13/10/2012

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The Sunday Times

Dominic Sandbrook

The fact that Cooper calls her subject “Paddy” reflects her open and unashamed affection for him. (Her father, John Julius Norwich, was a close friend, while her husband, Antony Beevor, partly relied on Leigh Fermor’s stories for his history of Crete during the war.) It is to her credit, therefore, that her book never quite tips over into outright hagiography.

14/10/2012

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