Author(s): Patrick Leigh Fermor
In this, his first book, Patrick Leigh Fermor recounts his tales of a personal odyssey to the lands of the Traveller's Tree - a tall, straight-trunked tree whose sheath-like leaves collect copious amounts of water. He made his way through the long island chain of the West Indies by steamer, aeroplane and sailing ship, noting in his records of the voyage the minute details of daily life, of the natural surroundings and of the idiosyncratic and distinct civilisations he encountered amongst the Caribbean Islands. From the ghostly Ciboneys and the dying Caribs to the religious eccentricities like the Kingston Pocomaniacs and the Poor Whites in the Islands of the Saints, Patrick Leigh Fermor recreates a vivid world, rich and vigorous with life.
'Paddy's portrayal of the islands could be said to have jump-started the tourism industry upon which the Caribbean has since largely depended' -- Geographical Magazine 20040101 '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 20040801 'Being a natural romantic ! he was able to probe the hidden recesses of this mixed civilisation and to present us with a picture of the Indies more penetrating and original than any that has been presented before' -- Harold Nicolson, The Observer 'He is the ideal traveller, inquisitive, humorous and vivid in depicting' -- Sunday Times '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 20040801 'A substantial and fascinating work, with the adventurer's signature across every page' -- Daily Mail 20040801 'No-one has captured and evoked the extraordinary differences between the islands better' -- Geographical Magazine 20040801 'Amusing, knowledgeable, and percipient, it is everything a travel book should be.' -- The Good Book Guide 20050101
After his famous walk across Europe - recounted in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water - Patrick Leigh Fermor lived and travelled in the Balkans and the Greek Archipelago. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania and fought in Greece and Crete - living disguised as a shepherd in the mountains for two years organising resistance activities. He was awarded the DSO and CBE, and a knighthood in the 2004 new Year Honours List. His writing career, spanning over fifty years, includes six other titles available in John Murray paperback.