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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.

Reviews

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
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