Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

Because of the close friendship between Paddy and Bruce Chatwin, this blog has often highlighted material about the controversial, but acclaimed travel writer who died of HIV in 1989. I have just come across a programme on BBC iPlayer which I hope that many of you can access (is iPlayer still restricted by geography?), as […]

Chatwin and Paddy: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

The link between Bruce Chatwin and Paddy is very strong. They were good friends and Chatwin’s writing has often been compared favourabley with Paddy’s. When Chatwin stayed at Kadamyli he and Paddy often went for long afternoon walks in the Taygetos. This BBC Four programme about Bruce Chatwin’s life includes some significant sections with Paddy: […]

Bruce Chatwin: letters from a fallen angel (or, A Woman Scorned)

I had no great intention to continue delving into the life and work of Bruce Chatwin, but I found the following article in this week’s London Evening Standard absolutely fascinating. The forthcoming book of letters edited by his biographer Nicholas Shakespeare, with commentary by his long suffering wife is sure to prove quite explosive. As […]

Bruce Chatwin’s Journey to Mount Athos

I will readily admit to knowing next to nothing about Bruce Chatwin. However, he seems to have a loyal following, has been flatteringly compared with Paddy as a writer, and of course Paddy was a friend and mentor to him. Chatwin’s ashes are scattered around a Byzantine church near to Paddy’s home in the Peloponnese. […]

Nomad – reminder, you have five days left to watch

Just a quick reminder that the Werner Herzog film about Bruce Chatwin is only available until Saturday 26th October on iPlayer. It is really quite absorbing, combining Chatwin’s often beautiful text with Herzog’s amazing cinematography; sometimes it is as if time stands still as we observe landscapes or wait for interviewees (especially when discussing Songlines) […]

The Slightly Foxed Podcast Episode 8: Leaving that Place called Home

The lovely team at the unmissable Slightly Foxed, Hazel, Jennie and host Philippa, explore the art of travel writing with the acclaimed author and biographer Sara Wheeler and Barnaby Rogerson of the well-loved independent publisher Eland Books. Buckle-up and join them on an audio adventure that takes in a coach trip around England, an Arctic […]

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 […]

The Man of the Mani now on BBC Sounds

In 2015, the experienced BBC reporter and presenter, John Humphrys, hosted a BBC Radio 4 programme about Paddy’s life in the village of Kardamyli in the Mani, exploring his the life and work. The programme is now available (for how long I don’t know) on the BBC Sounds website. Maybe take half an hour this […]

An exciting new travel writing talent?

It is rare for writers of the stature of Susan Hill to say “I was knocked sideways by this book”. Author Kamila Shamsie thought Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey, the debut book by young writer Adam Weymouth, “Dazzling, often in unexpected ways, Adam Weymouth is a wonderful travel writer, nature writer, adventure […]

Until I have reached Constantinople

In the catalogue to the exhibition Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton, Leigh Fermor (at the British Museum until July 15), Michael Llewellyn-Smith writes that, in his later years, Patrick Leigh Fermor “had an all-purpose excuse to send to pesterers”. The note read: “It was very kind of you to write. The trouble is that […]

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 […]

Transylvanian Saxon and polymath, Rudolf Fischer – obituary

Rudolf Fischer, who has died aged 92, was a historian, linguist and polymath who advised and guided foreign writers through the minutiae of eastern European history, language, etymology and ethnography; the foremost of these, Patrick Leigh Fermor, acknowledged in 1986 that his debt to Fischer was “beyond reckoning”. First published in the Telegraph 12 June […]

The Man of the Mani – BBC Radio 4 Monday 22 June

Final scheduling for the John Humphrys’ BBC Radio 4 programme about Paddy is available on the BBC website. It will broadcast at 1600 hours on Monday 22 June and will be available later on the BBC website. Which tells us … John Humphrys travels to Greece, to the village of Kardamyli in the Mani, to […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor archive now fully available to public at National Library of Scotland

After a year of intensive work, Paddy’s archive is now available to the public at the National Library of Scotland. The inventory is 81 pages long and the list of Paddy’s correspondents is well over 1,000, with many many famous names including Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Iris Murdoch, Lawrence Durrell, Bruce Chatwin, Cyril Connolly, the […]

A Place in the Sun – The very slow progress toward a permanent retreat

It appears it is the time for discussion about Paddy’s house at Kalamitsi to recommence. I was surprised when the article about his English home did not provoke any comments about the house in Greece which moulders away as the Benaki continues to drag its feet and struggle with its finances. The whole affair is […]

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 […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor profile: ‘Glitteringly told, impossibly romantic, unrepeatable today…’

As the long-awaited final volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s memoirs is published, Jonathan Lorie celebrates the brilliant travel writer. By Jonathan Lorie First published in The Independent, Saturday 14 September 2013. “This is the Byron Room,” murmured John Murray the seventh, ushering me into the Regency drawing room of his publishing house in Piccadilly, where […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor celebrated author of one of greatest travel books ever written

By Michael Dirda. First published in the Washington Post, 23 October 2013. In the annals of armchair adventure, nothing can rival a travel classic by a good-looking, sandy-haired young Englishman — or Englishwoman. If you’re planning ahead for some ideal winter’s reading, you can’t go wrong with any of the following:  A.W. Kinglake’s “Eothen.”  Peter […]

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 […]

At Home in the World

War hero, self-made scholar and the greatest travel writer of his generation, Patrick Leigh Fermor lived on a remote peninsula in the Peloponnese until his death in 2011. From a humble house he built himself, now being restored by an Athens museum, he explored Greece’s romantic landscape—and forged a profound link to its premodern past. […]

The life of the most extraordinary man to play Test cricket

This article was sent to me by Charles Hennah, and I am sharing it with you for three reasons. The first his the life of Bob Crisp is pretty extraordinary and worth a read; as the generation who fought the war die-off we read less and less every day about these brave men. Second, Paddy […]

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 […]

The Scotsman review: Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper

Patrick Leigh Fermor led one of the most enviable of 20th-century lives. The usual difficulty confronting the biographer of another writer – that the subject did little but sit at a desk and write – does not apply here. By Roger Hutchinson First published in The Scotsman 20 October 2012 Once he knuckled down to […]

John Chapman’s ManiGuide

The publication this week of the article by Kevin Rushby about his search for the memories of Paddy and Bruce Chatwin in the Mani prompted a degree of comment; not much of it particularly flattering. There were many unfavourable comparisons made with the excellent work of John Chapman in his ManiGuide website. Back in 2010 […]

On the trail of Patrick Leigh Fermor in Greece

This is a little bit toe-curling but as I always say we place all things Paddy related here …  for the record! Ahead of a new Patrick Leigh Fermor biography, Kevin Rushby visits the Mani peninsula, home of the great man and unsung resting place of another British travel writing giant, Bruce Chatwin. By Kevin Rushby […]