A wonderful insight into the calm and contemplative world of the monastery from a premier travel writer.
Patrick Leigh Fermor is of English and Irish descent. After his stormy schooldays, followed by his walk across Europe to Constantinople, he lived and travelled in the Balkans and the Greek archipelago acquiring a deep interest in languages and remote places. He joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, fought in Greece and Crete where, during the German occupation, he returned three times (once by parachute). Disguised as a shepherd he lived for over two years in the mountains, organising the resistance, and led the party that captured and evacuated the German Commander, General Kreipe. He was awarded the DSO and OBE, was made Honorary Citizen of Heraklion, and later of Kardamyli and Gytheion. He is a Corresponding Member of the Athens Academy. 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.
'The English language is still a superb instrument in the hands of a writer who has a virtuoso skill with words, a robust aesthetic passion, an indomitable curiosity and a rapturous historical imagination' -- Observer 'The genius of Patrick Leigh Fermor is a many splendoured thing. Soldier, traveller, writer, Phihellene ! he has already dazzled and delighted ! It is some time since more truth and beauty were distilled into a hundred pages' -- Stewart Perowne 'A brilliant book' -- Sunday Times 'Delightful ! His book is not only an admirable piece of travel writing; it is also a brilliant piece of human exploration' -- New Statesman 'Introspection, history, reportage have their balanced places in a well-written book ! measured and lucent' -- Sunday Times 'Patrick Leigh Fermor is a stylish, superb master of words, which he savours like the choicest vintage' -- The Times 'What a delight it is to read a book so beautifully and sensitively written' -- Observer 'A most successful attempt to portray the reactions of the man of the world (in the literal sense) when confronted with the monastic life' -- Daily Telegraph 'Delightful, lucidly written work of introspection that evokes the hardship and the rewards of the solitary life, as well as its beauty' -- The Glasgow Herald 20040228 '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 20040801 'A pleasure and an instruction to read' -- Irish Times 20040801 '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 20040801