The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

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Overview

Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts the last leg of his epic walk across Europe as he makes his way through Bulgaria, Romania, and finally Greece. 

In the winter of 1933, eighteen-year-old Patrick (“Paddy”) Leigh Fermor set out on a walk across Europe, starting in Holland and ending in Constantinople, a trip that took him almost a year. Decades later, Leigh Fermor told the story of that life-changing journey in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, two books now celebrated as among the most vivid, absorbing, and beautifully written travel books of all time.

The Broken Road is the long-awaited account of the final leg of his youthful adventure that Leigh Fermor promised but was unable to finish before his death in 2011. Assembled from Leigh Fermor’s manuscripts by his prizewinning biographer Artemis Cooper and the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor’s books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea. Days and nights on the road, spectacular landscapes and uncanny cities, friendships lost and found, leading the high life in Bucharest or camping out with fishermen and shepherds–in the The Broken Road such incidents and escapades are described with all the linguistic bravura, odd and astonishing learning, and overflowing exuberance that Leigh Fermor is famous for, but also with a melancholy awareness of the passage of time, especially when he meditates on the scarred history of the Balkans or on his troubled relations with his father. The book ends, perfectly, with Paddy’s arrival in Greece, the country he would fall in love with and fight for. Throughout it we can still hear the ringing voice of an irrepressible young man embarking on a life of adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590177563
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 1,112,840
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) was an intrepid traveler and a heroic soldier who is widely considered to be one of the finest travel writers of the twentieth century. 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) and The Broken Road (published posthumously in 2013), 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. Leigh Fermor lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani—and partly in Worcestershire. In 2004 he was knighted for his services to literature and to British–Greek relations.

Colin Thubron is the president of the Royal Society of Literature. Among his books are The Lost Heart of Asia, Shadow of the Silk Road, and most recently, To a Mountain in Tibet.

Artemis Cooper is the author of the biography Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure as well as the editor of Words of Mercury, a collection of Leigh Fermor's writings. She has written several works of history, including Cairo in the War.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Introduction Colin Thubron Artemis Cooper xi

1 From the Iron Gates 1

2 A Hanging Glass Box 21

3 Over the Great Balkan 45

4 To the Danube 98

5 The Wallachian Plain 139

6 Bucharest 156

7 To Varna 201

8 Dancing by the Black Sea 228

Constantinople 265

Mount Athos 269

Acknowledgements 351

Index 353

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