English author Patrick Leigh Fermor's (1915 to 2011) 'green diary', bought in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1934, is the only surviving journal from his youthful travels. It contains diary entries, sketches, notes of vocabulary and addresses.
The diary was left behind in Romania on the outbreak of the Second World War. It was returned to him in 1965 and is now part of his literary archive.
18-year-old Leigh Fermor left Britain in December 1933 to walk across Europe to Constantinople (Istanbul). This journey provided inspiration for a trilogy of books, beginning with 'A Time of Gifts', published in 1977.
The archives of Leigh Fermor and his publisher John Murray allow us to understand how the book came to be written and published.
John Murray, publishers, founded in 1768, quickly built up a reputation for travel literature. Leigh Fermor was one of their most popular and influential 20th-century travel writers.
[Library reference: Acc.13338/471]