London: John Murray, . First Edition (& 1st printing). Octavo, original black boards lettered and decorated in gilt. 291 pp. Full portrait black & white photo frontispiece, double page line map of route printed on heavier beige paper, Index at rear. One tiny dark mark on copyright page and adjacent Contents leaf; otherwise a near-fine copy in the original colour pictorial dust jacket illustrated by John Craxton (price corner clipped). A very nice copy of this attractive book. Item #312665
¶ At the age of 18 Leigh Fermor decided to walk the length of Europe from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. He set off on December 8th, 1933 with a few clothes, several letters of introduction, the Oxford Book of English Verse and a Loeb volume of Horace's Odes. He slept in barns and shepherds' huts, but was also invited by gentry and aristocracy into the country houses of Central Europe. He experienced hospitality in many monasteries along the way. A TIME OF GIFTS is the first part of the author's memoir of his journey, and is considered a classic of travel writing and a "sublime masterpiece". This volume recounts Fermor's journey as far as the Middle Danube. A second volume, BETWEEN THE WOODS AND THE WATER (1986), begins with the author crossing the Mária Valéria bridge from Czechoslovakia into Hungary and ends when he reaches the Iron Gate, where the Danube formed the boundary between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Romania. A planned third volume of Leigh Fermor's journey from the Iron Gate to Constantinople was never completed in the author's lifetime but was issued posthumously as THE BROKEN ROAD in 2013.