Patrick Leigh Fermor — travel writer, adventurer, linguist, and war hero — passed away this summer at the age of 96. Stories from the Englishman’s life sound more like the legends of a Greek hero than a travel writer. This is the man who in the 1930s walked across Europe, a journey that produced two of the great classics of travel literature: A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. Fermor, or Paddy to friends, posed as a Greek shepherd during WWII, captured an important German general, and even saw the whole incident dramatized in the 1957 film Ill Met by Moonlight. He counted among his friends the Duchess of Devonshire, Ian Fleming, and travel writer Colin Thubron.
Read Thubron’s tribute to his friend in the New York Review of Books.
Thubron’s most recent book is To A Mountain in Tibet.