A Time of Gifts.
On foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube.London: John Murray, 1977 Stock Code: 146383
Inscribed by the author, signed by CraxtonFirst edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper to the secretary of the Travellers Club "Robin McDougall, with love from Paddy. Sept 22. 1977" within a drawing of a cloud and birds in flight, and signed by Craxton on the front flap of the jacket. This is a lovely association copy.
In the winter of 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey - to walk to Istanbul, or "Constantinople" as Leigh Fermor insists with dogged atavism on calling the city in spite of its official renaming in 1930. Part antiquarian pilgrimage through a Europe that was being changed irrevocably by National Socialism, part adolescent coming-of-age adventure, A Time of Gifts (which relates the first part of the journey, as far as Hungary) is undoubtedly the author's masterpiece, ranking among the greatest travel books of the twentieth century. This copy retains the original dust jacket designed by the painter, graphic artist, and theatre designer John Craxton, known for being "one of the leading exponents of Neo-Romanticism" (Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists).
Octavo. Original blue boards, titles to spine and decoration to front board in gilt. With the illustrated dust jacket designed by John Craxton.
Photographic portrait frontispiece, and a two-page map.
Spine ends and lower edge rubbed, the binding otherwise sharp, internally crisp. A fresh copy in the very good jacket, extremities rubbed, a couple of small edge-splits, not price-clipped, bright.
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