A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (New York Review Books Classics)

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Synopsis

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 his adventures as far as Hungary, after which Between the Woods and the Water continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence, Leigh Fermor’s book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks through a Europe soon to be forever changed—through the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands, through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire; up the Rhine, and down to the Danube.

At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language, A Time of Gifts is also a portrait of a continent already showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.
 

About Patrick Leigh Fermor

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Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was an intrepid traveler, a heroic soldier, and a writer with a unique prose style. After his stormy schooldays, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in A Time of Gifts (1977) and continues through Between the Woods and the Water (1986), he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek Archipelago. His books Mani (1958) and Roumeli (1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, and fought in Greece and Crete. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. He lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani—and partly in Worcestershire. He was knighted in 2004 for his services to literature and to British–Greek relations. Jan Morris was born in 1926, is Anglo-Welsh, and lives in Wales. She has written some forty books, including the Pax Britannica trilogy about the British Empire; studies of Wales, Spain, Venice, Oxford, Manhattan, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Trieste; six volumes of collected travel essays; two memoirs; two capricious biographies; and a couple of novels—but she defines her entire oeuvre as “disguised autobiography.” She is an honorary D.Litt. of the University of Wales and a Commander of the British Empire. Her memoir Conundrum is available as a New York Review Book Classic.
 
Published September 14, 2011 by NYRB Classics. 340 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for A Time of Gifts

Bestsellersworld

At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey--to walk to Constantinople.

Oct 03 2005 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Slate

What follows is one of the most exhilarating set pieces to be found in travel writing anywhere: Having been fed, dried, and liquored up, Fermor joins his hosts in a night of ribald fun, in which a fisherman performs a rebtiko, an ancient dance that’s like a history of the Balkans writ small: “All...

Mar 03 2014 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

The New York Review of Books

While still a teenager, Patrick Leigh Fermor made his way across Europe, as recounted in his classic memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water.

Oct 30 2007 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

The New York Review of Books

These books amply display Leigh Fermor’s keen eye and preternatural ear for languages, but what sets them apart, besides the utterly engaging persona of their narrator, is his historical imagination and intricate sense of historical linkage…Few writers are as alive to the persistence of the past ...

Oct 03 2005 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Blouin Artinfo

Tags: a time of gifts, a time to keep silence, ada kaleh, between the woods and the water, colin thubron, europe 1933, europe 1934, Europe pre-world war two, fermor, fermor book, iron gates, iron gates hydroelectric, lord of the rings, mani, middle earth, narnia, new york review of books, patrick...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Blouin Artinfo

The Secret History of Art teaches art history and art crime at American University of Rome, on the ARCA Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, and both art history and writing for Brown University when he is not writing books and this column.

| Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Blouin Artinfo

Tags: a time of gifts, a time to keep silence, ada kaleh, between the woods and the water, colin thubron, europe 1933, europe 1934, Europe pre-world war two, fermor, fermor book, iron gates, iron gates hydroelectric, lord of the rings, mani, middle earth, narnia, new york review of books, patrick...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Blouin Artinfo

Tags: a time of gifts, a time to keep silence, ada kaleh, between the woods and the water, colin thubron, europe 1933, europe 1934, Europe pre-world war two, fermor, fermor book, iron gates, iron gates hydroelectric, lord of the rings, mani, middle earth, narnia, new york review of books, patrick...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

Blouin Artinfo

Tags: a time of gifts, a time to keep silence, ada kaleh, between the woods and the water, colin thubron, europe 1933, europe 1934, Europe pre-world war two, fermor, fermor book, iron gates, iron gates hydroelectric, lord of the rings, mani, middle earth, narnia, new york review of books, patrick...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Time of Gifts: On Foot to C...

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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

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