PSYCHOUNDAKIS, George. Cretan Runner. His Story of the German Occupation. Translation and Introduction by Patrick Lee Fermor. Annotated by the translator and Xan Fielding. London, John Murray, .
8vo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, illustrated dust-wrapper, (price-clipped), pp. [xii], 242, illustrated with many photographs and a double-page maps; light marginal rubbing and short tears to margins of wrappers; otherwise very clean and fresh.
Second printing (first, 1955), much rarer than the books authored by Fermor. 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 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. The annotations are by Major Alexander Wallace ('Xan') Fielding, who in Crete teamed up with Fermor in the Special Operations Executive, building up an intelligence gathering network which provided detailed information on the movement of Axis forces.