Letters and talk should always be free and reckless among friends … —Patrick Leigh Fermor, from a letter to Diana Cooper, February 25, 1980 Patrick Leigh Fermor, the writer and war hero who died in 2011 aged ninety-six, was a figure from another world. He never lived among hypnotising computer screens, “smart” phones, and other distractions, nor did he commute to an ordinary job or dwell in a suburb with children and pets. He never took a university degree, yet was fluent in six languages, a veritable polymath, his brain stuffed with colourful arcana, including reams of poetry and…
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