FERMOR, Patrick Leigh.

Mani, Travels in the Southern Peloponnese; [together with] Roumeli, Travels in Northern Greece.

London: John Murray, 1958 & 1966 Stock Code: 142883

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First editions, first impressions, of the author's celebrated travelogue of Greece, described as "two of the best travel books of the century" (Financial Times).

Although perhaps best known for his great walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul in 1935, Fermor was also a committed Hellenophile who devoted much of his life his adopted country. He was fluent in Greek, fought in Crete as an SOE officer during the Second World War, and officially settled there in 1964. After the war Fermor planned to write a general history of Greece, including an account of Byzantium and a history of almost every island in the Greek archipelago, and so in 1950 he began a circuitous tour of the country with his partner, the photographer Joan Eyres Monsell. Starting in Istanbul, they roamed westward through Thrace and Macedonia and across the north of Greece, before circling south through to the Mani peninsula and east to Athens, all the while lodging with local villagers and filling several notebooks with material.

However on seeing the first part of the manuscript, Fermor's publisher John "Jock" Murray encouraged him to divide the work into two volumes. The first volume, Mani, focused on the southern Peloponnese, with particular attention to the history and culture of the Maniots, the inhabitants of the isolated region who claim descent from the ancient Spartans and classical Greeks. The book received enthusiastic reviews from critics on publication, winning the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize in 1959, and firmly established Fermor's literary career. The companion volume, Roumeli, published nearly a decade later, explores Northern Greece and its minority communities, blending past and present to reflect on the conflict between modern and ancient Greece.

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2 works, octavo. Mani in original red cloth, Roumeli in original blue cloth; titles to spine gilt, publisher's motif to front covers in gilt. With the dust jackets, designed by John Craxton.


Illustrated frontispiece by John Craxton, 26 photographic plates by Joan Eyres Monsell, map.


Mani: Bookseller's ticket to front pastedown. Head of spine and extremities bumped, binding square and firm, internally clean; a very good copy in the price-clipped jacket, spine very slightly faded, tiny creases to head of spine, very small closed tear to top edge of rear panel; Roumeli: ends and extremities bumped, offsetting to half-title and spots to edges, contents clean; a very good copy in the jacket, spine faded but free from chips and creases.


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