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From the French Abbey of St Wandrille to the abandoned and awesome Rock Monasteries of Cappadocia in Turkey, the celebrated travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor studies the rigorous contemplative lives of the monks and the timeless beauty of their monastic surroundings. In his occasional retreats, the peaceful solitude and the calm enchantment of the monasteries was passed on as a kind of ‘supernatural windfall’ which A Time to Keep Silence so effortlessly records.

Reviews

The English language is still a superb instrument in the hands of a writer who has a virtuoso skill with words, a robust aesthetic passion, an indomitable curiosity and a rapturous historical imagination
Observer
The genius of Patrick Leigh Fermor is a many splendoured thing. Soldier, traveller, writer, Phihellene ... he has already dazzled and delighted ... It is some time since more truth and beauty were distilled into a hundred pages
Stewart Perowne
A brilliant book
Sunday Times
Delightful ... His book is not only an admirable piece of travel writing; it is also a brilliant piece of human exploration
New Statesman
Introspection, history, reportage have their balanced places in a well-written book ... measured and lucent
Sunday Times
Patrick Leigh Fermor is a stylish, superb master of words, which he savours like the choicest vintage
The Times
What a delight it is to read a book so beautifully and sensitively written
Observer
A most successful attempt to portray the reactions of the man of the world (in the literal sense) when confronted with the monastic life
Daily Telegraph
Delightful, lucidly written work of introspection that evokes the hardship and the rewards of the solitary life, as well as its beauty
The Glasgow Herald
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 pleasure and an instruction to read
Irish 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