Geoffrey Household and meetings with Paddy

From the travel writer Stephen J. Bodio’s blog – he was in correspondence for a long time with the thriller writer Geoffrey Household (his Rogue Male is brilliant!), and Geoffrey did mention some meetings with Paddy. Stephen writes ….

Sadly, I never corresponded with Patrick Leigh Fermor, but I did for many years with the adventurous old “suspense” story writer Geoffrey Household (as so many perceptive critics wrote, he was so much more than that, including a naturalist, a regionalist, and a chronicler of the same old lost Europe that Leigh Fermor also celebrated). Some of his best works are still or at least recently in print, though they were written from the thirties into the eighties: Rogue Male, in which an English big game hunter with a secret stalks a Hitler figure until he becomes the prey; 1965’s Dance of the Dwarfs, a cryptozoological novel with several twists; and the one I read first, 1960’s Watcher in the Shadows, still another tale of being stalked. Household’s knowledge of nature and animals gave him an intuition and sympathy for prey that many writers of such novels lacked.*

I will write about Geoffrey’s own work, but that must wait. Suffice to say that in the winter of 86-87, having been recently widowed, I wrote to him asking if he had known PLF, whose Woods & Water I had just finished. I figured with his background– among other things, he had lived in Bucharest and Greece for many years before the war, and been in British Intelligence– he might have. I just wanted to do something new– walk across Europe, perhaps?

Geoffrey wrote back with enthusiasm; we had written to each other for some time, and I think he was worried for me. Of course, he HAD known “Paddy” during the war.

Read more here with images of the letters.


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