The Byron of Our Time

'Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure'

Artemis Cooper
New York Review Books, $30, 448 pp.

Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) achieved three impressive goals in travel, war, and art. In 1933 and ’34, in his late teens and after expulsion from school, he walked southeast across Europe, passing through nine countries: Holland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece. This 1,700-mile ramble (about the distance from New York to Denver), while not the equal of the agonizing treks made by Henry Morton Stanley across Equatorial Africa or by...

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About the Author

Jeffrey Meyers, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has recently published Samuel Johnson: The Struggle (2008), The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe (2009), George Orwell: Life and Art (2010), and John Huston: Courage and Art (2011).