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That smashing obbligato passage was played in order to get rid of unwanted visitors; inveterate socialiser that he was, and a cheerful lesser sinner (wine, women and the occasional fib), perhaps just now and then he pined to be alone with one god or another.
He was a good, kind sort of hero anyway, and his life did end on a gentler note, spent largely with his beloved Joan in the house they had built beside the sea in the southern Peloponnese.
As I read about its incessant goings-on I am sometimes haunted by the feeling that they shelter a quieter soul.
We hear little about religious convictions in his life, but one of his lesser books concerns three separate sojourns in monasteries, he wrote thoughtfully about his experiences on Mount Athos and he was intensely interested in the varied mysteries of sacred thought.
When she died he divided his time, as was only proper, between Greece and England, and gradually his splendid body failed him.
He lost part of his sight, part of his hearing, and in his 96th year he went to his rest beside his wife in Worcestershire.
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure Artemis Cooper John Murray, £25, 448 pp Patrick Leigh Fermor’s most famous books are 1 A Time of Gifts (1977) and 2 Between the Woods and the Water (1986), about the great trans-Europe walk of his youth; a third, unfinished volume is to be published in 2013.'@Lisa_Wilkinson you are a class act through and through,' she wrote, 'congratulations on all that you have achieved.You should be so proud.'ABC's Virginia Trioli, who's no stranger to her own 'pay gap,' controversy, made sure to remind the ten-year Today show veteran to soak-up her time off.Artemis Cooper, however, rolls the immense boulder with an apparently effortless grace, and makes this marvellous book less a mere life story than an evocation. The rapscallion school years, the wonderful adolescent walk across Europe, the derring-do in wartime Crete, when Leigh Fermor was responsible for the kidnapping of a German general, the books that established him as one of the great prose writers of the 20th century, the profound explorations of things Grecian and Byzantine, the illumination of everything by tremendous gifts of scholarship and linguistics – all this is almost too familiar. She knew Paddy well herself, she has travelled almost everywhere he travelled, and she has had access to unpublished diaries and innumerable informants.More to my point, she has immersed herself in the minutiae of Leigh Fermor’s character, so that the epic figure of his reputation becomes not clearer, but more convincingly blurred.