I have generous and perceptive in-laws who realised that like them, the writings of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who has just died aged 96, could touch the heart. I am grateful for their gifts. In her Observer obituary Jan Morris says 'Leigh Fermor made of the genre [travel writing] a lovely instrument of grace, humour and reflection'......'travelling with him was like simultaineously travelling through several ages' .....'a complex soul, but with a stillness at the heart of him'. I detect in his passing a shift of an era, or perhaps that is merely my sense of loss for a talent capable through his writing of changing one's appreciative setting (to quote Geoffrey Vickers) in ways that I now mourn.
In a piece in yesterdays Guardian, Artemis Cooper, his biographer is quoted as saying that the long anticipated final book of his travel trilogy, begining with 'A Time of Gifts' (1977) followed by 'Between the Woods and the Water' (1987) will be forthcoming. I hope so.