As you know I’ve been reading the Patrick Leigh Fermor books – and keep posting snippets as he reminds me of things … relative to today, or in the centuries gone – albeit he wrote his books about eighty years ago … travelling in the 1930s from Amsterdam to Istanbul. Exquisite language! Excellent knowledge!
|The Broken Road from the|
Iron Gates to Mount Athos
Fermor's last book in the tilogy
I’m about to embark on reading the last of his trilogy “The Broken Road … From the Iron Gate to Mount Athos” …
… the Iron Gate (or the Gate of Trajan) is a gorge on the Danube River between Serbia and Romania; … Fermor has a sad story after the building of two hydro-electric power stations requiring the removal of an indigenous and special peoples, who had lived on an island for centuries that is now submerged.
|It's tea time and as you can see I have a|
steady hand for giving you an idea where
the Iron Gate is to be found!
… while Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in north-eastern Greece: it is governed as an autonomous polity within the Greek Republic - its status is unique, but it is technically part of the EU …
However between my devouring of the first and the second books in the trilogy, I read “Before the Glory Ended” by Ursula Zilinksy … an author I’d never heard of … but her book had returned with me from South Africa, all those 25 years ago.
|Greek peninsula of Mount Athos is|
shown by the splodge in red!
I was hooked – it’s fascinating and romantic, and covers the 1930s – 1956 (the early years of which Fermor travelled) … (Anschluss 1938 [annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany] to the Hungarian revolt against the Russians in 1956).
|Before the Glory Ended by|
Sadly it’s not cheap … otherwise I’d recommend it – still worth it though … I could write up the cover frontispiece and back cover – which make informative reads … so let me know ...
“… with the lightest of touches she (Zilinsky) moves her settings from Paris, to Vienna, to Budapest, London and back to Europe …” perhaps you can see what I’m trying to convey from this sentence …
|Stephen 1 of Hungary|
So back to the title of the post “Istvan” .. why Istvan? – because the name crops up with both authors … and I’d never heard of it before – yes we’re dealing with Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria … but could these people be the same – a noble house full of romantic heroes – counts, dukes, gallant knights … ?
That got me to looking up “Istvan” … I reached this website … “Behind the Name” … and what did I find … but the Hungarian form of “Stephen”!
Well that surprised me … seeing as I’d just written about “Good King Wenceslas last looked on the Feast of Stephen” … talk about co-incidences. So all these romantic hero guys were ‘Stephens’!!
|Istvan Meszaros - Professor Ermitus University of Sussex|
But the site is interesting … I found a list of ShakespeareCharacters …
|Istvan Ferenczy - Hungarian Sculptor|
- who walked to Rome to further
his knowledge and art
You never know what you’re going to find as the day starts … but I couldn’t resist telling you about this website – perhaps you’ve come across it …
So my hero ‘Istvan’ … is the romantic “English Stephen” … this was one of those times I’d made a fool of myself … such is life … but I’d learnt something in the process …
Here’s to each and every Stephen, Steven, Eztebe, Stephanos, Estienne, Stjepan, Estevan, Stefan … et al …
PS let me know re the Zilinksy idea ... I'd quite like to do it - it'll be after the A-Z ... probably summer time ...
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories