Two volumes, Blocked slipcase, 552 pages in total Frontispiece and 24 pages of sepia photographs in Mani Frontispiece and 20 pages of sepia photographs in Roumeli 26 black & white integrated illustrations in total, and 1 map in each volume.

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Once described as ‘a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene’, Patrick Leigh Fermor has also been called the world’s finest travel writer. In 1958 he completed Mani, an account of his wanderings in the Peloponnese, one of the wildest regions of Greece. He followed it in 1966 with Roumeli, a portrait of the country stretching from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth. More than a simple exploration of these two wild and remote regions, the books are a love letter to the country's culture, language, mythology and people – Leigh Fermor was in love with the idea of Greece as well as its reality, and his beautiful and often lyrical writing summons its very essence.

Along with his wife Joan Eyres Monsell, Leigh Fermor explored those isolated regions cut off to casual tourists by the jagged Taygetus mountains and inhospitable coasts. During their travels they met with Sarakatsán shepherds and ate twice-baked bread softened in spring water, spent the evening in one of the Mani’s famous ‘blood-feud’ towers and visited the cave said to be the entrance to Hades. In Leigh Fermor’s Greece the past is always present, and the country’s active relationship with its ancient and storied history is alive on every page. On the tiny island of Seriphos, a young boy shows Leigh Fermor the chapel where the head of Medusa is said to be buried, cheerfully presented to the writer as though the gorgon had been decapitated only the week before. In one charming incident, Leigh Fermor and his wife attempt to retrieve a pair of Lord Byron’s slippers, despite having lost the name of the man who has guardianship of them. The character of Greece, and Leigh Fermor’s passion for it, shine through in these encounters. The author and his wife would eventually make their home there.

Mani and Roumeli: two of the best travel books of the 20th century’
Financial Times

During their travels, Joan took a series of remarkable photographs, and Leigh Fermor would often to refer to these during the writing process. Since the publication of the first edition the photographs have rarely been seen, but they have been fully reinstated for this two-volume set – an inclusion that makes this the most comprehensive edition available. British illustrator Katyuli Lloyd has provided a series of black and white illustrations and a pair of atmospheric binding designs. Lloyd proved to be an unusually apt choice for the edition – Leigh Fermor was a family friend, and wrote Mani in the village of Kamini, where the artist’s grandparents made a living as potters. As a teenager Lloyd herself fell in love with Leigh Fermor’s writing via a Folio Society edition of W. Stanley Moss's Ill Met by Moonlight, an account of Moss and Leigh Fermor’s SOE activities in Crete during WW2 and to which Leigh Fermor had contributed an afterword. Lloyd has written that working on the Folio editions of Mani and Roumeli was ‘moving’ and ‘poignant’. Familiar with the region, the artist travelled there to create her pen-and-ink drawings on location.

‘In these remote mountains, on foot among the rocks and the high villages, it is possible to forget all the changes that have taken place in the world’

In her introduction, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s biographer Artemis Cooper describes how the writer reveals ‘a country deeper and richer than his readers had ever imagined’. This special edition brings the two books together in a striking blocked slipcase, and each volume includes a map.

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