Patrick Leigh Fermor, who has died aged 96, was an intrepid traveller, a heroic soldier and a writer with a unique prose style. His books, most of which were autobiographical, made surprisingly scant mention of his military exploits, drawing instead on remarkable geographical and scholarly explorations. To Paddy, as he was universally known, an acre of land in almost any corner of Europe was fertile ground for the study of language, history, song, dress, heraldry, military custom – anything to stimulate his momentous urge to speculate and extrapolate. If there is ever room for a patron saint of autodidacts, it has to be Paddy Leigh Fermor.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
The Guardian has one of those epic obits up for epic figures that only the British seem to do this well. It's the kind of obituary that makes you ask, "what's this person going to do next?" This time, it's traveler, author and adventurer "Paddy" Fermor: