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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But, by the end of the service a compelling aura of extinction, emptiness and shrouded symbols pervaded the building. Wait now till you hear the rest. His gifts for languages and history result in musings about Yiddish syntax, Byzantine plainsong, and most memorably the whereabouts of the coast of Bohemia as mentioned by Shakespeare turns out it existed for 13 years but also turns out Shakespeare probably couldn’t have cared lessand much much more.

It’s less of a travel guide to walking across Europe and more an exploration of the many strands radiating from the Holy Land and its narrative, weaving paths across place and history, through the lives of Justin’s fellow-walkers – and, of course, his own life.

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor | : Books

But instead of touting himself as a prophet or a self-important chronicler of the troubles of the interwar years, Fermor makes himself a magician. And when not prompted into reverie by the landscapes around him, he turned inward to the rich body of literature that he had committed to memory. Here is hifts example of his writing: 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 vy.


The archway at the top of these shallow steps, avoiding the threatened anticlimax of a flattened ogee, deviated in two round-topped lobes on either side with a right-angeled central cleft slashed deep between the cusps. All of a sudden, this was not merely the obvious, but the only thing to do.

Romantic journey

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s prose is stunning, it flows like a hypnotic river, it mesmerizes, it shines, sentence after sentence. Heading for the German border, he comes across a belfry and, almost reflexively, climbs it: To have been able to explore this last fragment of pre-modern Europe — Germany before it was turned to ash, Central Europe before fifty years of a Soviet yoke!

The church had lost its tenebrous mystery. I got such a sense of Fermor from what he told me on the side, the way that he shaped this story. Hobnails grated, mugs clashed and the combined smell of beer and bodies and old clothes and farmyards sprang bg the newcomer.

Aug 21, Grace Tjan rated it really liked it Shelves: 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. The red, white and green barrier of the frontier post at the far end marked the beginning of Hungary.

Except for this church, the beautiful city was to be bombed to fragments a few years later. Much of the archictecture as he notes of Rotterdam: The first of three projected volumes, A Time of Gifts, was published inwhen the author was 62; the second, Between the Woods and the Water, which traces the journey from the Hungarian frontier where the first leaves off to the Iron Gates in Romania, came in I wondered when I would be returning.

There are all kinds of adventures waiting on your doorstep, any day of the year, all you need is Wonderland. They looked gifta odd. As we have seen by now, patricm beyond counting had been looming along the river. He also blends his travels with reflections on the layers of history, through the art and architecture, and evokes the old ghosts of cultures smashed by war.


It can be taught. It probably should be given five stars, but I gave it four.

A Time of Gifts

If you’re wondering, I mean. He was met with kindness and od, even crossing Hitler’s Germany, and there is a gray tint that falls over some of this book when he reflects that within a decade certain quarters he had haunted would be bombed into nonexistence.

A fifts tinkled and the steward led me back into the saloon. Blending travelogue and offbeat history, The Rhine tells the fascinating story of how a great river helped shape a continent. I will have to read that too!!! When an IRA man’s wife turns informer, he and his brother gather their old comrades for an assault on the local army base.

Classicwatch: A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor | Books | The Guardian

I, for instance, loved the scene where he jumped in the back of a loaded truck next to a farm girl who was traveling with a duck and a clutch of eggs which she presented to him for his February 11th birthday. He set out in December ofthough he didn’t write up his experiences until the seventies. Languages Italiano Edit links.

Well, to get straight to the point, even by gifst end of the introduction I found myself disappointed. Is that more than three things?

A Time of Gifts 1 4 Jul 31, He seems to notice every small, fleeting detail of everything he sees: He left London for Rotterdam and from there travelled — mostly on foot — to Constantinople.