Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece

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New York Review of Books, Oct 12, 2011 - Travel
20 Reviews
Roumeli is not to be found on present-day maps. It is the name once given to northern Greece—stretching from the Bosporus to the Adriatic and from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth, a name that evokes a world where the present is inseparably bound up with the past.

Roumeli describes Patrick Leigh Fermor’s wanderings in and around this mysterious and yet very real region. He takes us with him among Sarakatsan shepherds, to the monasteries of Meteora and the villages of Krakora, and on a mission to track down a pair of Byron’s slippers at Missolonghi. As he does, he brings to light the inherent conflicts of the Greek inheritance—the tenuous links to the classical and Byzantine heritage, the legacy of Ottoman domination—along with an underlying, even older world, traces of which Leigh Fermor finds in the hills and mountains and along stretches of barely explored coast.

Roumeli is a companion volume to Patrick Leigh Fermor’s famous Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese.

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Review: Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece

User Review  - 4ZZZ - Goodreads

I have been thinking about this book for days. Some sections, (are they chapters?) stand out. The first, The Black Departers, was so impressive I reread it immediately. The Monasteries in the Air was ... Read full review

Review: Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece

User Review  - ο κανένας κανένας - Goodreads

As usual for Fermor books about Greece, I suspect this book might be difficult for a foreigner to fully comprehend (although i am kind of astonished that most of you seem to do!), as A Greek I can ... Read full review



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About the author (2011)

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was an intrepid traveler, a heroic soldier, and a writer with a unique prose style. After his stormy schooldays, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in A Time of Gifts (1977) and continues through Between the Woods and the Water (1986), he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek Archipelago. His books Mani (1958) and Roumeli (1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, and fought in Greece and Crete. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. He lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani—and partly in Worcestershire. He was knighted in 2004 for his services to literature and to British–Greek relations.

Patricia Storace is the author of Heredity, a book of poems, Dinner with Persephone, a travel memoir about Greece, and Sugar Cane, a children’s book. She lives in New York.

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