An awfully big adventure: William Dalrymple on Paddy Leigh Fermor’s wartime exploits

It is always good to read stuff by William Dalrymple. He is one of the writers whom I enjoy whatever he happens ot write, and I like listening to him too. In this New Statesman review he compares Abducting a General with Kidnap in Crete by Rick Stroud. by William Dalrymple First published in the […]

William Dalrymple and Artemis Cooper discuss Abducting a General on BBC’s today programme

Justin Webb introduces this package on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme on Thursday 9 October 2014. Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor was one of the world’s great travel writers. In the grand old tradition he was a scholar and a war hero and a general all-round high achiever. Top of his achievements was the capture of […]

Underland by Robert Macfarlane review – a dazzling journey into deep time

Robert Macfarlane has done a lot to keep Paddy’s name and writing style alive and current. His new book, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, is one that offers a new perspective on the human impact on our planet, is receiving rave reviews. By William Dalrymple First published in The Guardian. Stories of human journeys into […]

Where Travel Writing is Now

A thought provoking piece for the Easter holidays from Barnaby Rogerson, founder of the wonderful Eland books. May I wish you all, wherever you are, a very happy and peaceful Easter (remember Paddy had arrived for the great Easter celebrations at Esztergom on the Danube). By Barnaby Rogerson First published in Errant Magazine 18 September 2015 […]

Walks amid the watchtowers of the Mani

The most recent of quite a number of articles about visiting the Mani that I have seen of late. This being the best, written by William Dalrymple. First published in the Financial Times, 28 August 2015. I first came to the Mani through the pages of my literary hero and travel writing guru, Patrick Leigh […]

Travel Writing Giants – Remembering Peter Matthiessen and Patrick Leigh Fermor

BBC Radio Four rarely disappoints. At least not over the course of a few hours where there will be enough variety and quality for everyone. On Good Friday the Point of View programme was given over to William Dalrymple William who celebrated the writing of Peter Matthiessen who died this month. Dalrymple compares him with […]

NYRB review – The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

In the winter of 1933, eighteen-year-old Patrick (“Paddy”) Leigh Fermor set out to walk across Europe, starting in Holland and ending in Constantinople, a trip that took him almost a year. Decades later, Leigh Fermor told the story of that life-changing journey in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, two […]

A Visit with Patrick Leigh Fermor, Part 3

Part 3 of Ben Downing’s meeting with Paddy in 2001 at Kardamyli.  Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. by Ben Downing. This text originally appeared in issue 165 of The Paris Review, Spring 2003. There was an incident dating from this vagabond period—from 1956, to be exact—that I was keen to ask Paddy […]

The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo: Meeting Patrick Leigh Fermor

Ryan Eyre lives in Seattle, and took a journey to Kardamyli to meet Paddy in 2009. He has written this article for the Journal of the Book Club of Washington, and has asked to publish it here as well. Ryan tells us, as many others have done, about Paddy’s remarkable memory, which he utilised to […]

The Longest Journey Will Always Lie Ahead

Whilst digging around I came across this charming obituary to Paddy by Justin Marozzi who is famous for his book The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus, in which Justin describes an account of a lengthy retsina fuelled lunch with Paddy when he visited Kardamyli in 2007. By Justin Marozzi. First published in StandPoint […]

A man of gifts

A review of Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by William Dalrymple which is a must read. He knew Paddy and wrote one of the best profiles of Paddy for the Daily Telegraph in 2008 which you can read here. by William Dalrymple First published in the Financial Times, 2 November 2012. Patrick Leigh Fermor, who […]

My favourite travel book, by the world’s greatest travel writers

Paul Theroux, William Dalrymple, Kari Herbert, Colin Thubron and many more writers tell us about the travel book that most influenced their own life and work. Others that one could say are slightly less well-known, and very pleased to be placed into the pantheon of “world’s greatest travel writers” – Mr Jasper Winn 🙂 – […]

Travel writing: Lost art in search of a lost world

Few authors have been able to equal Patrick Leigh Fermor’s ability to dissolve into the places described in his books. Editorial, first published in The Guardian 18 June 2011 “I hate the French cookery, and abominate garlick,” Tobias Smollett told his readers 245 years ago, with a snooty disregard for foreigners that runs through too […]

Ox Travels: Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers

Read some great travel stories by some of the best travel writers, including Paddy’s account of the Black Sea cave, and help Oxfam projects at the same time. Introduction by Michael Palin. As the Oxfam website says …. “OxTravels is our fantastic new compilation of short travel stories, produced in collaboration with Profile Books and […]

Scholar in the wilds – a profile of Patrick Leigh Fermor

A comprehensive profile of Patrick Leigh Fermor. By James Campbell. First published in The Guardian 9 April 2005 As a teenager, Patrick Leigh Fermor walked through Europe to Turkey, sleeping in hayricks and castles. Forty years later he wrote two pioneering books about it; a third is still in progress. He lived in Romania, met […]

Home truths on abroad – where now for travel writing?

William Dalrymple recalls an encounter with Paddy in the Mani in 2008, discusses the impact of Bruce Chatwin, and asks where next for travel writing. First published in The Guardian, 19 Sep 2009 What is to become of travel writing now that the world is smaller? Who are the successors to Chatwin, Lewis and Thesiger? […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor: The man who walked

  This profile by William Dalrymple is perhaps the most well known of all the on-line pieces about Paddy. I have so far been reluctant to add it to the blog, but as my blog is meant to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all things Leigh Fermor I have decided its time has come.   […]

Hay Q and A: Who are the three greatest living writers?

Well done William! The Hay Q&A We asked some of the leading authors at this year’s Guardian Hay festival a series of questions. Here are their answers Q4: Who are the three greatest living writers? William Dalrymple: “Among novelists, Cormac McCarthy; among travel writers, Patrick Leigh Fermor; among short story writers, Jhumpa Lahiri.” From the […]

Walking towards Byzantium

A Review of Artemis Cooper’s “Words of Mercury” by William Dalrymple published in the Guardian. First published in the Guardian 13 December 2003 William Dalrymple relishes Words of Mercury, a selection from the work of Patrick Leigh Fermor, Britain’s greatest living travel writer. Skill with the sword usually precludes much competence with the pen. For […]