'Nothing short of a masterpiece' JAN MORRIS
'[This] gloriously ornate account of that epic journey is a classic' ROBERT MACFARLANE
'Not only is this journey one of physical adventure but of cultural awakening. Architecture, art, genealogy, quirks of history and language are all devoured -- and here passed on -- with a gusto uniquely his' COLIN THUBRON, Sunday Times
'One of the most romantic books of the twentieth century, Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of a long walk across Europe is also a literary treasure, a rich blend of action and observation' Guardian
In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and takes the reader with him as far as Hungary.
It is a book of compelling glimpses - not only of the events which were curdling Europe at that time, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers, the sun on the Bavarian snow, the storks and frogs, the hospitable burgomasters who welcomed him, and that world's grandeurs and courtesies. His powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve, and the scope is majestic.