This is a book for anyone interested in wanting to find out about the Spanish people and their culture, as well as for the knowing tourist or overseas resident already mad about Spain. Part personal travelogue, part anthology, the book draws on the observations of travellers to Spain over the centuries, on a range of subjects from food and wine to bullfighting and religion. In addition there are special chapters devoted to Spain’s most popular cities and sites including Barcelona, Madrid, and Andalucia.
The book has its roots in my Anglo-Spanish upbringing and many years of experience- happy childhood memories of long holidays in different parts of Spain, and living the country in its full cultural and social diversity as an adult journalist and author. But the text is enriched by the comments and insights of other visitors and residents, some of whose writings survive as the best in world literature. Generally the book is weighted in favour of mainly English , as opposed to native, writers to make it as accessible as possible to the non-Spanish, non-specialist reader.
Authors which feature in this book include George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Laurie Lee, and Virginia Woolf. But there is no shortage of contributions from some of the great figures of Spanish and Latin American literature such as Miguel Cervantes, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Jorge Luis Borges. On the whole, my prime purpose, in the sort of all good companions, is to entertain, and, as often as possible, to move. I hope you’ll find it an original and vital.