Synopses & Reviews
In the late 1940s Patrick Leigh Fermor, now widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest travel writers, set out to explore the then relatively little-visited islands of the Caribbean. Rather than a comprehensive political or historical study of the region, The Traveller’s Tree
, Leigh Fermor’s first book, gives us his own vivid, idiosyncratic impressions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Haiti, among other islands. Here we watch Leigh Fermor walk the dusty roads of the countryside and the broad avenues of former colonial capitals, equally at home among the peasant and the elite, the laborer and the artist. He listens to steel drum bands, delights in the Congo dancing that closes out Havana’s Carnival, and observes vodou and Rastafarian rites, all with the generous curiosity and easy erudition that readers will recognize from his subsequent classic accounts A Time of Gifts
and Between the Woods and the Water
In the late 1940s Patrick Leigh Fermor, now widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest travel writers, set out to explore the Caribbean islands. Rather than a comprehensive political or historical study of the region, The Traveller's Tree
, Leigh Fermor's first book, gives us his own vivid, idiosyncratic impressions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Haiti, among other islands, all set forth in prose of astonishing lyricism, wit, and descriptive power.
This picaresque adventure takes Leigh Fermor through a series of landscapes at once treacherous and sublime where he encounters an incredible host of characters and indeed whole societies.
Originally published: London: John Murray, 1950.
About the Author
Patrick Leigh Fermor was born in 1915 of English and Irish descent. After his stormy school days, 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 the OBE. He now lives 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.
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is a doctoral student in geography at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written for The Guardian, The Believer, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications.