Friday, June 10, 2011

Patrick Leigh Fermor 1915- 2011 RIP

Too burnt on obit- writing to write a proper tribute to one of my (and Betsy Huntington's; she left me all my early first editions; and Q's) favorite writers and examples of a life well- lived. But readers and nomads everywhere should observe a silent moment: Patrick Leigh Fermor has died at 96 in England. He had recently returned from the island off Crete he had called home for many years, perhaps to be reunited at last with his late wife Joan. We must all hope that he finally completed his third book about his youthful walk, between the wars, from the Hook of Holland to "Constantinople"; the second volume,Between the Woods and the Water, may be my favorite travel book ever. I eagerly await Artemis Cooper's biography next year...

Good obits in the Telegraph, at England's Channel 4, and at The Guardian. More to come I'm sure...

Will attempt something later; for now here is an older post by me and here is one by Reid.

UPDATE: more good obits and memories: Max Hastings in the Daily mail; his biographer-to- be, Artemis Cooper, with a photo of his first love, Romanian princess Balasha Cantacuzene-- be still my heart!

Let's lift a glass to one who never hesitated-- see Cooper's opening tale-- to do so himself.

And a last note from another Guardian article, for those who are holding their breath about the existence or fate of the "Third Volume":

"Readers are still awaiting the promised third leg of Leigh Fermor's trip, despite the author's repeated promises to "pull my socks up and get on with it" and his 2007 declaration that he was learning to type so that he could complete it more quickly.

"Cooper, who visited him at his Greek home earlier this year, said that the writer had been working on corrections to a finished text. "A early draft of the third volume has existed for some time, and will be published in due course," she said.'


CZLion said...

I'll make an effort to locate his books. I could use some cultural enlightenment.


Big John

Gil said...

Saw this in the Times today:

Anonymous said...

The first vol. of PLF's Trek across Europe is included in The Guardian's (UK) List of 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books. Both vols can be had thru Amazon.


Metro said...

Dear Steven

An interesting blog you have. I was the photographer who made the picture of Paddy in his home studio at Kardamyli, Greece on 3 October 2004 - indeed he was a youthful 89 years old! We had corresponded some years before and I had that rare opportunity to be invited into his home for coffee and more importantly to discuss our shared passion for travel to far flung places. He was witty, sharp and generally interested in my own travels. In 2012 I put together a blog concerning my encounter with PLF, it may interest you and your followers.

Metro said...

Dear Stephen,

I was the fortunate person who had that once in a life time opportunity to be invited into the home of Patrick Leigh Fermor and took the photo on your site. Paddy was indeed a youthful 89 years old that day 3rd October 2004 when after some years corresponding with him I first met him in person. He was witty, sharp and genuinely interested in my own travel stories. In 2012 I posted a blog titled An Encounter With Patrick Leigh Fermor. I'm certain that it will interest you and your followers.