Artemis Cooper, in Patrick Leigh Fermor’s biography, describes the atmosphere in Cyprus in May 1955 that led him to write a frustrated letter to her mother, Diana Cooper:
The following month (May 1955) Paddy went to Cyprus where Lawrence Durrell had persuaded him to give a lecture for the British Council. By now, the anti-British organisation EOKA under the leadership of Colonel Grivas was increasing its activities bombing and attacking British targets and service personnel. Paddy joined Durrell in Paphos to witness the trial of a group of EOKA rebels who had been captured waiting for a caique loaded with guns and ammunition. The crowd outside was smashing windows and shouting for the release of the accused. Paddy doubted the British would ever win, though Durrell did not think that the Cypriots “by themselves would have the stamina for a long conflict”. Either way it was very depressing. “Cyprus was detestable” Paddy wrote to Diana, “the Cypriots sullen and, in a wet way, disaffected, the English the sweepings of the Colonial Office, well intentioned, unimaginative, blundering, stubborn and fifth rate”.