R I P Paddy Fermor, master of the English Language, whose lifetime correspondence with Deborah Mitford, the Duchess of Devonshire, Mistress of Chatsworth House, is only outshone by the correspondence I had with him when I lived by Lake Bracciano in Italy and wrote to him about his description of the reflection of Bracciano Castle in the lake which I could see from my balcony. Charmingly and not at all in tearing haste, he replied (from Kardamyli, on July 7th 1988). "Alas, I mustn't agree to the idea of a visit! Things are going so badly and slowly with my present book - largely because of being led astray with reviews, introductions, and visits, I've taken a vow that they must all stop until a safe, secret part of the book is reached and I am sure you will understand."
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