The Patrick Leigh Fermor Society has been formed in 2014 and aims to promote interest in the life and works of Patrick Leigh Fermor and to support his legacy.

A newsletter gives information about lectures and other events of interest, while the Society’s journal The Philhellene carries features of generic interest.

Patrick Leigh Fermor, 1915–2011

PLF was born in London on 11 February 1915. Soon after leaving King’s School, Canterbury with his housemaster describing him as ‘a dangerous mixture of sophistication and recklessness’, he decided to walk to Constantinople and boarded a boat from London to the Hook of Holland on 9 December 1933. He reached Constantinople on 31 December 1934 and after his first adventures in Greece he went with Princess Balasha Cantcuzene to Rumania, where he lived until the outbreak of war in 1939.

His attempts to join the war effort took him in 1940 to Greece and in 1941 he was inducted into the Special Operations Executive: in Crete his exploits culminated in the kidnap with Billy Moss of the German General Heinrich Kreipe on 26 April 1944.

PLF’s first book The Traveller’s Tree was published in 1950 and his best known works are A Time of Gifts (1977), Between the Woods and the Water (1986), Mani (1958) and Roumeli (1966). On 11 January 1968 he married Joan Rayner (née Eyres Monsell) and later that year they completed the building of their house near Kardamyli on land which they had bought in 1964. The house is now owned by the Benaki Museum.

Joan died in 2003 and Paddy, who was knighted in 2004, died on 10 June 2011. They are buried together at Dumbleton, Gloucestershire.


The Society is a member of the Alliance of Literary Societies. New members are welcome and can join the Society by taking out a subscription (payments are handled securely through Paypal, for which only a credit card is required).

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Society, please contact us.

Other sites of interest

You might like to visit the National Library of Scotland, the Patrick Leigh Fermor blog and the Mani Guide.