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Archive for the ‘Patrick Leigh Fermor’ Category

BudapestWonderful wonderful book–reading it was a joyous delight! Such language, such scenes, such descriptions!  And I am pleased to find that there are two more in this series to look forward to!

As a young man of 19, in the dire 1930’s, Mr. Fermor hiked from Holland to Constantinople–a stunning journey that took him through Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary–mostly by foot, sometimes on horseback, and occasionally by train when he was in funds. Years and years later–now an old man in his 60’s–he wrote a book about it. He had kept extensive journals during his travels, and was able to use them not only as aide-memoirs but also as vivid material for quoting. He had an eye for charming detail, a good memory for conversations, and his adult learning and wisdom informs the story, making it so very much richer than the tale as written by a 19-year old would have been. There are some simply luminous scenes, and many times when he makes you smile–what a good, interesting, funny, and learned man he must have been. It was NOT a good time to be abroad, Hitler was going from strength to strength, and the grim spectre of war loomed ever closer. But somehow Fermor found companions, fun, beauty–and had a grand time. Here are some quotes from the book, lovely in themselves, but I urge you to read the books!

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