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Words of Mercury [signed]

 
Words of Mercury [signed] by FERMOR, Patrick Leigh (2003)
Author: FERMOR, Patrick Leigh
Title: Words of Mercury [signed]
 
Year: 2003
Publisher: John Murray
Place: London
Dust Jacket: Yes
Signed: No
 
Price: £100
 
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pp 274. Signed on the author's stork label tipped onto the title page of this late collection of Patrick Leigh Fermor's writings, including his great war report: 'Abducting a General'. This second impression of the book is bound in black cloth with a blue jacket, both near fine, 'Radio 4' label to upper cover of jacket; bookplate of Michael Chichester to the front pastedown.

In addition to excerpts from A Time of Gifts and Leigh Fermor's other words, his account of the kidnap of General Kreipe includes one of the most sublime pieces of all wartime writing, as the fleeing group wake 'among the rocks, just as a brilliant dawn was breaking over the crest of Mount Ida... We were all three lying smoking in silence, when the General, half to himself, slowly said: 'Vides ut alta stet nive candidum/ Soracte...' I was in luck. It is the opening line of one of the few odes of Horace I know by heart... I went on reciting where he had broken off... The General's blue eyes swivelled away from the mountain-top to mine... 'Ach so Herr Mayor!' It was very strange. 'Ja, Herr General.' As though for a long moment, the war had ceased to exist. We had both drunk at the same fountains long before; and things were different between us for the rest of our time together.'
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