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Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (Anglais) Broché – 8 avril 2004

4.7 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client

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  • Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates
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  • A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube.
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Between the Woods and the Water is a book so good your resent finishing it. (Sunday Times)

'The finest travelling companion we could ever have... His head is stocked with cultural lore and poetic fancy to make every league an adventure.' Christopher Hudson (Evening Standard)

As full of zest, joy and delight as its predecessor (Country Life)

He is exploring the very furthest boundaries of the genre. (Jan Morris, The Times)

The most enjoyable living writer to be published this year (Peter Levi, The Spectator)

I have never enjoyed a travel book more and I would doubt if I will ever enjoy one so much again (Robin Lane Fox)

Rightly considered to be among the most beautiful travel books in the language (Independent)

Bringing the landscape alive as no other writer can, he uses his profound and eclectic understanding of cultures and peoples ... to paint vivid pictures - nobody has illuminated the geography of Europe better (Geographical Magazine)

John Murray is doing the decent thing and reissuing all of Leigh Fermor's main books ... But what else would you expect from a publisher whose commitment to geography is such that for more than two centuries it has widened our understanding of the world? (Geographical Magazine)

'For a spirited introduction [to the Balkans] try Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of a 1930s walk from Hungary to Romania and Bulgaria...rich in local history and a formative book in the rise of modern travel writing' - David Mattin (The Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary.

Picking up from the very spot on a bridge across the Danube where his readers last saw him, we travel on with him across the great Hungarian Plain on horseback, and over the Romanian border to Transylvania.

The trip was an exploration of a continent which was already showing signs of the holocaust which was to come. Although frequently praised for his lyrical writing, Fermor's account also provides a coherent understanding of the dramatic events then unfolding in Middle Europe. But the delight remains in travelling with him in his picaresque journey past remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges.

Although Between the Woods and the Water was published nine years after A Time of Gifts, Fermor is famously still at work on the concluding part of his trilogy.

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Commentaires en ligne

4.7 étoiles sur 5
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Merveilleux livre, surtout pour ceux qui ont un peu connu l'Europe centrale d'avant la guerre.Il y a des termes architecturaux ou concernant la nature difficiles pour quelqu'un qui n'est pas né anglophone ; certains développements un peu longs
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I am glad to have met this amazing character in the pages of these books. I think one forgets how the world was connected in the recent-far past. One can be envious of this weirdo's life, because weird he was. God read.
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I thought this book was supposed to describe the author's journey from the Danube to Constantinople but it finishes at the Iron Gate in Bulgaria. I then discovered that he never wrote about that part.
He really lives a charmed life in this part of the trip, spending time at one manor house after another - passed along by friends of friends.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94d048a0) étoiles sur 5 105 commentaires
56 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9472c570) étoiles sur 5 Exquisitely between two worlds 3 mai 2000
Par Alekos - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Like most literary masterpieces this marvelous book has a outer vehicle that develops an inner theme. The vehicle is a journey on foot, horseback and barge across Europe in the 1930's when the author was 19. The inner theme is a resolution of polarities and opposites of all kinds. First there is the overriding polarity of solitude and company. He enjoys spending time with friends and friends of friends at their country homes in Hungary and Roumania and passing hours in their sometimes fabulous libraries but he finds refreshment and spiritual renewal in long solitary walks in wooded mountains and along the banks of the Danube where he meets an occasional deer or golden eagle. He relishes staying with his wealthy, worldly and sophisticated hosts but also enjoys the company of peasants, gypsies and lumberjacks. He likes passing comfortable nights in reasonably soft beds with clean linens but doesn't shrink from sleeping in hayricks or under sheltering oaks. The interplay of past and present are another polarity he weaves into the narrative. His knowledge of history and use of it in this work is both magnificent and enviable. Leigh Fermor is in fact one of the most cultured contemporary writers I have had the good fortune to read. He is a good linguist, a masterful historian and , surprisingly, a knowledgeable theologian. But that is only half the story. He is also a super-macho man of action completely aware of his body and its interaction with the environment. This we know from his activities, almost heroic feats, during WWII, especially in Crete. In the present book he coordinates his mental and physical endowments to produce a gorgeously textured masterpiece of English prose. Sex is not absent from the narrative but it is never described in terms that could be considered even remotely graphic. Acts are kept in the wings while he concentrates on the social, intellectual, and aesthetic dimensions of his relations with women. Unfortunately Amazon.com does not keep an ample stock of Leigh Fermor's works, so I had to purchase my copy from Amazon.co.uk. I may be impatient but my sense of company loyalty is unimpeachable. No?
51 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9472c5c4) étoiles sur 5 "...a season of great delight..." 30 août 2006
Par J. V. Lewis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Here, in part two of Patrick Fermor's promised three-part account of his 1933-1934 walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, the 19 year old wanderer/journalist strolls unguided through Hungary and into darkest Transylvania. Along the way he reads in the great private libraries and parties with washed-up aristocrats; wonders about water buffalo, the echoes of Hapsburg heirarchies, Rumanian gothic architecture, and barbaric wedding practices; rests with gypsies and gabs with rich landowners... He by then had fallen into the rhythm of his travels, and his powers of observation illuminate a strange and distant central Europe. But this isn't mere travel writing. He isn't simply shining a light on a place, a time, and a people. His writing is so ecstatic and muscular that the reader is transported to real yearning for experience, and to face that experience with eyes unclouded by cynicism or too much ossifying adulthood. This book, even more than A Time of Gifts, is a portrait of an enviable mind, a mind that is simultaneously open to experience and wise, or at least subtle and clear-thinking, but refined by a liberal education. The real gift of these books is for us to see a clear glimpse into the mind of a person who is living fully. The glimpse shows the folly of planning, of responsibility, of routine and care. Few writers have ever equalled the clarity of this offering. The life of the cubicle and the steady paycheck is the life of frailty and trepidation. This book spreads a warm ray of strength, resilience, and joy in discovery. A true delight.
31 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9472c8a0) étoiles sur 5 Superb 18 septembre 2006
Par R. Albin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is the sequel to Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts. In 1933, the very young Leigh Fermor set out to travel by foot from Holland to Constantinople. Written many years after this adventure, Between the Woods and the Water describes Leigh Fermor's travels in Hungary and Transylvania. He had the good fortune to make some aristocratic connections and spent a good part of the trip being passed from country house to country house and town to town within an extended family network of the Hungarian aristocracy. The Hungary and Transylvania Leigh Fermor describes had already changed greatly under the impact of the First World War, the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Great Depression. Many, if not all of the aristocratic figures from whom Leigh Fermor received hospitality, were living lives of genteel poverty on much reduced estates. Still, he describes a world that would be swept away by the events of WWII, the installation of communist states and the postwar industrialization of much of Eastern Europe. The Hungary and Transylvania through which Leigh Fermor travels is very rural, dominated by a peasantry still coexisiting with the aristocracy. Transylvania in particular was ethnically diverse with significant populations of ethnic Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, Jews, and Gypsies. These populations were divided also by a variety of languages and faiths. The awareness on the part of the author and readers of fate of these peoples gives much of this book an elegiac quality. Wonderfully written with superb historical digressions and some outstanding descriptive writing about the landscapes, this is book is just a treat. The natural comparison is with the predecessor volume. I think this is the better of the two. This volume was published in the mid-80s with Leigh Fermor promising a sequel that would cover the final segment of the journey. Sadly, this has never been published and given Leigh Fermor's advanced age, it is unlikely to be completed. A real pity.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9472cdc8) étoiles sur 5 Gar nichts! 7 avril 2007
Par Daniel Myers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The title above is German for "Absolutely nothing!", Fermor's droll reply to "What are you studying?" when visiting a scholar with his newfound Transylvanian friend Istvan, who laughs about such blasphemy all the way back from the visit. The polymathic Fermor had contemplated his answer a few moments before answering-"Languages? Art? Geography? Folklore? Literature? None of them seemed to fit." The truth is, of course, as anyone who has read of anything of Fermor's knows full well, that Fermor has been studying all of these things, but with his own assiduous, unacademic zeal. This time he spent in Transylvania (The country's name meaning, as any first year Latinist would know, "Across the Woods") is by far my favourite: His escapades with Istvan, the fleeting amour with Angela, the effortless historical erudition about the region all make it exemplary of the book as a whole - which is not to slight the rest of it at all!

I disagree profoundly with the reviewers who take umbrage at Fermor's "esoteric" use of language and historic allusion. For the armchair traveler, these qualities make the book just that much more fun - Diving into the OED and various encyclopedias to thresh out some of the references.

The overall effect of this book, as with A Time of Gifts, is best likened to a friendly punch in the gut by an old chum. It takes you at unawares but leaves you invigorated and happy to be alive in the world. Yes, there are sadnesses to the book, not the least of which is that the beautiful View of the Danube near Regensburg on the cover of the NYRB edition is now underwater, lost forever; But as Fermor contemplates as his time with Angela draws to a close, "There are hours in life worth more than diamonds." This book is full of them!

And all these youths chain-smoking cigarettes! Perhaps the Surgeon General should put a warning label on the book lest a youth of today discover the vibrant meaning of carpe diem!
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9472c684) étoiles sur 5 Wonderful adventure through history and countryside 26 juin 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I have recently re-read and completed this book (borrowed from the library!) after having lost my own copy on a plane in Europe over a decade ago. The writing is exquisite, often amusing, as this vigorous youthful traveler - mostly on foot but also on horse, the occasional car, and Danube steamship -- is brought back to life by his seasoned self 50 years later. And, though written in the 1980's, it is sometimes eerily relevant to 1999. A quote, "I stayed the night at a bargeman's tavern in Mohács in order to see the battlefield where Suleiman had overthrown King Lajos: one of history's most dark and shattering landmarks: a defeat as fatal to Hungary as Kossovo to the Serbs and Constantinople to the Greeks." Later, he refers to "the tragic region of Kossovo, where old Serbia, Macedonia, and Albania march." These passages are interspersed with playful romps with Hungarian aristocrats, parties, nights spent with Rumanian shephards, orthodox rabbis and their lumberjack families, and other unforgettable people whose lives were about to be forever changed by World War II and its aftermath. A gorgeous read as was the earlier Time of Gifts and hopefully the last volume through Rumania and Bulgaria to the Black Sea.
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