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In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor + A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (New York Review Books Classics) + Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople: From The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (New York Review Books Classics)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: New York Review Books (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590173589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590173589
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Spanning 1954 to 2007, the volume reads like an accidental memoir of a disappearing world stretching from the manor houses of the English aristocracy to the olive groves of Greece, its people and places rendered with a kind of care that’s becoming scarce in our age of helter-skelter communication. At the same time, the book’s title, a phrase deriving from Leigh Fermor’s habit of dashing off messages ‘with a foot in the stirrup,’ captures the vigor and bustle of the lives that nourished the correspondence….In Tearing Haste is engaging from start to finish. There isn’t a dull letter among Charlotte Mosley’s selections. Even her annotations, often incorporating information from the book’s two correspondents, are as surprising as they are informative….More than anything else, the collection is important as an addition to Leigh Fermor’s body of work, both because his letters constitute a larger portion of the volume and because the writing in them harmonizes with the books that established his literary reputation." —The Nation

"This is a book that evokes a lost world of glamour, intelligence and personal scruples. The memory of its pristine landscapes, resolute gaiety and eccentric characters leaves a glorious afterglow." —Sunday Telegraph

"Spanning half a century, bursting with wit and conviviality…the result is surely one of the great 20th-century correspondences." —The Observer (London)

"This marvelous correspondence celebrates two of the most important things in the world, courage and friendship" —The Spectator

"Highly engaging exchanges of mutual joie de vivre." —The Times

"As full of fizz and conviviality as a glass of champagne" —Metro

"A feast for reading…An enchanting book." —Irish Examiner

"Chatty, witty, teasing, gossipy, relentlessly cheerful and with more than a hint of modest good sense, her short replies bounce off his beautiful essays like volleys of tennis balls off a cathedral." —The Scotsman

About the Author

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was an intrepid traveler, a heroic soldier, and a writer with a unique prose style. After his stormy schooldays, followed by the walk across Europe to Constantinople that begins in A Time of Gifts (1977) and continues through Between the Woods and the Water (1986), he lived and traveled in the Balkans and the Greek Archipelago. His books Mani (1958) and Roumeli (1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. In the Second World War he joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, and fought in Greece and Crete. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. He lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani—and partly in Worcestershire. He was knighted in 2004 for his services to literature and to British–Greek relations.

The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire
is the last surviving of the six noted Mitford sisters. She became chatelaine and housekeeper of one of England’s greatest and best-loved houses, but following her husband Andrew’s death in 2004, she moved to a village on the Chatsworth Estate, where she now lives.

Charlotte Mosley lives in Paris and has worked as a publisher and journalist. She is the editor of Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford, The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh, and The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Patterson on December 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admit to a soft spot for reading about the Mitfords and for reading their correspondence. So this book was right up my street. I loved reading The Duchess of Devonshire's wonderful chat about running an estate, attending the inauguration and funeral of John Kennedy (she was amused that during the inauguration activities the press had to run around trying to figure out just who she was), and the marital problems of "my friend" (the Prince of Wales). She is well-bred and doesn't really gossip, noting only that the had heard that Princess Diana was "not easy." Despite all the glittering people she talks about, you never forget that she also knows an awful lot about sheep and chickens

Patrick Leigh Fermor is that rare creature, a man of action and a man of letter. His books about his travels ("A Time of Gifts," "Between the Woods and the Water") are incredibly well written. Many consider him the finest travel writer ever. His letters are filled with detail and the reader feels he is experiencing adventure right along with the author. During WWII he was involved in the battle of Crete and was captured a German general. His death, earlier this year at the age of 95, was received more coverage in Britain than it did in the States.

I started and ended my day with these letters. Both correspondents were great companions and I hated to see the book come to an end
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. C. George on April 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating to witness the everyday life of interesting people who spanned some recent history and interacted with some key public figures of that era.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By lady susan on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a wonderfully entertaining book. sometimes poignant,also
very funny,two people who became such dear friends over the years,
and shared their happy times as well as their sad times,i have a feeling that when one of them dies, the other will be truly heart broken. i wish there had been more letters available to read. i can highly recommend this book.Park Top
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Toby on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this very much. Books are my passion, love to read, love to share and pass on many that I find to be exceptional, this is one of them. I follow very few authors, like this one and perhaps four others that are up and coming.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy literate, amusing letters that build a picture in your mind's eye of the people who wrote them, this is a book for you. Yes, it starts in a long-ago era, post WW II, and yes, the letter writers are a British aristocrat and a writer who lived an unconventional, traveling, writing, hob-nob-with-the-aristocracy international set, and who was a war hero, but you end up admiring friendship and entering into the charmed circle of wit, hopes, laughs, sorrows, loves, hard work, and family and friends. A very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Farry on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No one today writes over a 50 year period. All Tweets and mirrors. Great descriptions of rough and difficult areas
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By mj deneen on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolute delight leaving the reader wanting more or at least an opportunity to "chat" with these devoted friends and letter writers.
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By Clarice on November 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. It is a wonderful window into the social attitudes and life of the times.As letter wrting was an art in that period , it is beautifully written and the characters of those concerned are exposed as one reads. If you enjoyed the books by the Mitford sisters you will enjoy this
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In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor
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