A great of twentieth century literature, now known to generations for A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water
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
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
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
A substantial and fascinating work, with the adventurer's signature across every page - Daily Mail
No-one has captured and evoked the extraordinary differences between the islands better - Geographical Magazine
Amusing, knowledgeable, and percipient, it is everything a travel book should be. - The Good Book Guide