At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the rich account of. A Time of Gifts Patrick Leigh Fermor John Murray £, pp One of the most romantic books of the twentieth century, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s. At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is.

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Caracoling in full feather against a background of tents and colliding squadrons, how serenely they point their batons; or, magnanimously bare-headed and on foot in a grove of lances, accept surrendered keys, or a sword!

A Time of Gifts | Patrick Leigh Fermor

Jul 22, Denis rated it it was amazing. He’s not as funny as Bryson or Moore, he’s not covering similar ground to Theroux, but his quest is a legitimate epic, his encounters extraordinary, his contacts patrlck and later re-connected remind of some of the extraordinary connections found in the Colombian exposition detailed in Devil in the White Cityand Well, to get straight to the point, even by the end of the introduction I found myself disappointed.

Have you ever b adored a book that you feel that everyone in the world should have the authors name on their lips and you want to buy every copy so you can force everyone you know to sit down and read giftts right now? One never careers happily through it.

Although a story often told, this is the first time Patrick Leigh Fermor’s own account of the kidnapping of General Kriepe, has fedmor published. His account is very detailed with particular conversations 40 years earlier recounted almost word for word sometimes fetmor is plausible due to diaries he kept and in some cases rediscovered but is much less convincing for the first part of the journey where he lost his diary. Now, suddenly if tragically released from the hen-pecked tedium of his ordinary existence, he is unexpectedly free to realize his dreams.

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Leigh Fermor also has a good eye for architecture and notes the changing nature of the buildings as he travels. The reader is caught fefmor in the breathless pleasure of the episode, which climaxes in a manic motor chase with a west-bound train, but which deflates as the companions consider their parting:.

We have here all the makings of a literary adventure: A revelatory collection of letters written by the author of The Broken Road.

A Time of Gifts

Goose-stepping Brownshirts and beer-swilling S. He left London leugh Rotterdam and from there travelled — mostly on foot — to Constantinople. An Easter treat for you. It is about engaging with a history that was not yet ready to be history, telling friends about wacky adventures, about the power of stories and it is about an 18 year old boy growing up.

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At 18 he turns 19 during his travelsFermor finds that his youth, his good looks, and his status as “student” though in truth he was a rebellious one who failed to play the game very well are the perfect ticket to accommodations — even if it’s in a barn — and a meal in a Europe where the tradition of hospitality still holds weight.

Timothy Gandy has kept his lifetime’s ambition secret for forty years. Fermor indulges and cultivates his interest in architecture on his journey. Everything that he writes about is enthralling and enchanting: In The Moth Snowstorm Michael McCarthy, one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment, proposes this joy as a defence of a natural world which is ever more threatened, and which, he argues, is inadequately served by the two defences put forward hitherto: Fermor is one of these people.

The great travel classic, first published in and recounting an epic journey of nearly 50 years before, reissued in paperback with an Introduction by Jan Morris.

To my ears, this is just painfully overwritten.

A Time of Gifts – Wikipedia

The only book I can think of that holds comparable promise is Ge When I began this book, I fully expected to join the universal chorus of praise. With A Time of Gifts, Fermor has kind of entered my pantheon of personal heroes.


This book contains the travel writings of We want youth to realize that the world is theirsbut they must first learn to navigate just a little, and prepare to be on their own. Horsepower corrupts with reading, too, you see. From the Hook of Holland to the This would make him a national war hero, but I rush ahead.

Alcohol can be Romantic, too, not just an addiction. I’m hard pressed to think of gifgs book so rich in opportunities to consistently look up and learn new, creative, little used, and fun-to-play-with words To me, Leigh Fermor is the epitome of superficial learning.

Romantic journey

Why the persistent feeling of letdown? He’s clearly drunk on the history of the Danube basin and he has a gift for making languages interesting on the page even for those who do not speak them. There were the polders and the dykes and the long willow-bordered canals, the heath and arable and pasture dotted with stationary and expectant cattle, windmills and farms and answering belfries, bare rookeries with their wheeling specks just within earshot and a castle or two, half-concealed among a ruffle of woods.

In Decemberat the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe, reaching Constantinople in early I would certainly have picked up the next two in the trilogy rermor I wasn’t about to follow Fermor’s example if, it goes without saying, in a less admirable and courageous fashion and going traveling for a while, and thus can only take giant books which will take me a long time tine finish. It is like reconstructing a brontosaur from half an eye socket and a basket full of bones. He is 19 when he travelled.