With a few hours to spare I indulged one of my favourite pursuits, scouring the shelves of secondhand bookshops for surprises. My targets were Slightly Foxed and Heywood Hill. I stumbled upon 3 first editions: The Woman Who Was God by Francis King, The Haunt by A. L. Barker (both writers advocated by Rebecca West) and a rare Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
A few hours later, to my surprise, I learnt of Leigh Fermor’s death. His travel books are outstanding examples of the genre. We shall see if there is a third volume, long promised, of his legendary walk, as a teenager, from Holland to Constantinople.