London : John Murray, 1955
First UK Edition. 8vo (22cm). (xii), 242pp. Illustrated with many photographs and a double-page maps which has a few red pen dots. Original pea green cloth bards; lettered in gilt to spine and front cover; very slightly bumped to top an tail of spine, corners tight and crisp; title and author pencilled in block letters to bottom edge; Patrick Leigh Fermor flat signature to title-page; previous owner signature to front pastedown; in price-clipped dust-jacket, some chips to edges; vintage tape repairs to top and bottom edge and signs of even older brown-tape staining to bottom portion of back panel; pencil notations to back inner flap; colour bright and unfaded; a near fine copy in a good dust-jacket.
During World War II, George Psychoundakis served as a messenger and dispatch runner to aid the Cretan Resistance behind German lines, eventually joining the Special Operations Executive where he liaised with British officers, including famed travel writer, Patrick Leigh Fermor. As a “Cretan Runner” Psychoundakis and his fellow resistance fighters performed remarkable feats of endurance and bravery as they navigated the rough terrain and constant threat of German apprehension.
Despite the most rudimentary of rural educations, Psychoundakis wrote an personal account of his time as runner which was eventually translated by none other than Patrick Leigh Fermor and eventually translated into many European languages. After the success of the Cretan Runner, Psychoundakis continued to promote Cretan culture and language. He received honours from the Academy of Athens for his translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey from Ancient Greek into the local Cretan dialect.