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A Traveller’s Companion To Madrid

Hugh Thomas, best known for his authoritative analysis of the Spanish Civil War, has chosen from diaries, letters, memoirs and novels ranging across five centuries of Madrid's history. The anthology brilliantly evokes the drama and personalities of the past by drawing on eyewitness accounts and commentaries from both visitors and inhabitants including Beaumarchais, Beckford, Luis Bu§uel, Alexandre Dumas, + Read More..
Hugh Thomas, best known for his authoritative analysis of the Spanish Civil War, has chosen from diaries, letters, memoirs and novels ranging across five centuries of Madrid's history. The anthology brilliantly evokes the drama and personalities of the past by drawing on eyewitness accounts and commentaries from both visitors and inhabitants including Beaumarchais, Beckford, Luis Bu§uel, Alexandre Dumas, Goya, Victor Hugo, Hemingway, Napoleon and scores of others.

Includes: the Duke of Wellington walking in the shady Paseo del Prado; the Earl of Clarendon on 17th-century bullfights; Salvador Dal° playing a surrealist joke on a snooty barman at the Ritz; Rubens in the AlcÝzar; Manet at the Prado, generals and anarchists in the Puerta del Sol; Casanova and Trotsky in prison.
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Black Paintings of Goya

By Juan Jose Junquera

The Spanish master-painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) is revered not only for the delicate and sensitive treatment of his subjects but also for his radical political stance and modern sensibility. Towards the end of his life, embittered by the appalling cruelty of the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, Goya decorated the walls of his house outside Madrid with a + Read More..
The Spanish master-painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) is revered not only for the delicate and sensitive treatment of his subjects but also for his radical political stance and modern sensibility. Towards the end of his life, embittered by the appalling cruelty of the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, Goya decorated the walls of his house outside Madrid with a series of 14 terrifying murals that depicted the underbelly of life and the remorselessness of human existence.

Known as the Black Paintings, this series of murals is recognized as one of Goya's greatest masterpieces and now hangs in the Prado. Fully illustrated, this is the only book on the Black Paintings currently in print in English.

A controversial narrative gives new interpretations of the artist's intention behind these grotesque works and shows how this period of Goya's work anticipated Surrealism and other aspects of 20th century artistic vision.
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Captain Alatriste

By Arturo Perez-Reverte

The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte have captivated readers around the world and earned him a reputation as “the master of the intellectual thriller” (Chicago Tribune). His books have been published in fifty countries. Now, beginning with Captain Alatriste, comes Pérez-Reverte’s most stunning creation to date: a riveting series featuring the adventures of an iconic hero.

Captain Alatriste is the + Read More..
The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte have captivated readers around the world and earned him a reputation as “the master of the intellectual thriller” (Chicago Tribune). His books have been published in fifty countries. Now, beginning with Captain Alatriste, comes Pérez-Reverte’s most stunning creation to date: a riveting series featuring the adventures of an iconic hero.

Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional seventeenth-century Spanish soldier who lives as a swordsman-for-hire in Madrid. Needing gold to pay off his debts, Alatriste and another hired blade are paid to ambush two travelers, stage a robbery, and give the travelers a fright. “No blood,” they are told.

Then a mysterious stranger enters to clarify the job: he increases the pay, and tells Alatriste that, instead, he must murder the two travelers. When the attack unfolds, Alatriste realizes that these aren’t ordinary travelers, and what happens next is only the first in a riveting series of twists and turns, with implications that will reverberate throughout the courts of Europe.
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Court Life from Within

By Infanta Of Spain Eulalia

Infanta Eulalia, Duchess of Galliera (María Eulalia Francisca de Asís Margarita Roberta Isabel Francisca de Paula Cristina María de la Piedad) (12 February 1864 – 8 March 1958) was the youngest daughter and child of Queen Isabella II of Spain and Francis, Duke of Cadiz; She was also sister of King Alfonso XII and aunt of his son + Read More..
Infanta Eulalia, Duchess of Galliera (María Eulalia Francisca de Asís Margarita Roberta Isabel Francisca de Paula Cristina María de la Piedad) (12 February 1864 – 8 March 1958) was the youngest daughter and child of Queen Isabella II of Spain and Francis, Duke of Cadiz; She was also sister of King Alfonso XII and aunt of his son King Alfonso XIII.

She was most known for her controversial books which mostly criticised foreign leaders and also Spanish and foreign governments.
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Death and the Sun: A Matador’s Season in the Heart of Spain

By Edward Lewine

A brilliant observer in the tradition of Adam Gopnik and Paul Theroux, Edward Lewine reveals a Spain few outsiders have seen. There's nothing more Spanish than bullfighting, and nothing less like its stereotype. For matadors and aficionados, it is not a blood sport but an art, an ancient subculture steeped in ritual, machismo, and the feverish attentions of + Read More..
A brilliant observer in the tradition of Adam Gopnik and Paul Theroux, Edward Lewine reveals a Spain few outsiders have seen. There's nothing more Spanish than bullfighting, and nothing less like its stereotype. For matadors and aficionados, it is not a blood sport but an art, an ancient subculture steeped in ritual, machismo, and the feverish attentions of fans and the press.

Lewine explains Spain and the art of the bulls by spending a bullfighting season traveling Spanish highways with the celebrated matador Francisco Rivera Ordónez, following Fran, as he's known, through every region and social stratum. Fran's great-grandfather was a famous bullfighter and the inspiration for Hemingway's matador in The Sun Also Rises. Fran's father was also a star matador, until a bull took his life shortly before Fran's eleventh birthday.

Fran is blessed and haunted by his family history. Formerly a top performer himself, Fran's reputation has slipped, and as the season opens he feels intense pressure to live up to his legacy amid tabloid scrutiny in the wake of his separation from his wife, a duchess. But Fran perseveres through an eventful season of early triumph, serious injury, and an unlikely return to glory.
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Death in the Afternoon

By Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway's Classic Portrait Of The Pageantry Of Bullfighting.

Still considered one of the best books ever written about bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon reflects Hemingway's belief that bullfighting was more than mere sport. Here he describes and explains the technical aspects of this dangerous ritual, and "the emotional and spiritual intensity and pure classic beauty that can be + Read More..
Hemingway's Classic Portrait Of The Pageantry Of Bullfighting.

Still considered one of the best books ever written about bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon reflects Hemingway's belief that bullfighting was more than mere sport. Here he describes and explains the technical aspects of this dangerous ritual, and "the emotional and spiritual intensity and pure classic beauty that can be produced by a man, an animal, and a piece of scarlet serge draped on a stick." Seen through his eyes, bullfighting becomes an art, a richly choreographed ballet, with performers who range from awkward amateurs to masters of great grace and cunning.

A fascinating look at the history and grandeur of bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon is also a deeper contemplation on the nature of cowardice and bravery, sport and tragedy, and is enlivened throughout by Hemingway's pungent commentary on life and literature.
$10.00
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Death of a Nationalist

By Rebecca Pawel

Madrid 1939. Carlos Tejada Alonso y León is a Sergeant in the Guardia Civil, a rank rare for a man not yet thirty, but Tejada is an unusual recruit. The bitter civil war between the Nationalists and the Republicans has interrupted his legal studies in Salamanca. Second son of a conservative Southern family of landowners, he is an + Read More..
Madrid 1939. Carlos Tejada Alonso y León is a Sergeant in the Guardia Civil, a rank rare for a man not yet thirty, but Tejada is an unusual recruit. The bitter civil war between the Nationalists and the Republicans has interrupted his legal studies in Salamanca. Second son of a conservative Southern family of landowners, he is an enthusiast for the Catholic Franquista cause, a dedicated, and now triumphant, Nationalist.

This war has drawn international attention. In a dress rehearsal for World War II, fascists support the Nationalists, while communists have come to the aid of the Republicans. Atrocities have devastated both sides. It is at this moment, when the Republicans have surrendered, and the Guardia Civil has begun to impose order in the ruins of Madrid, that Tejada finds the body of his best friend, a hero of the siege of Toledo, shot to death on a street named Amor de Dios. Naturally, a Red is suspected. And it is easy for Tejada to assume that the woman caught kneeling over the body is the killer. But when his doubts are aroused, he cannot help seeking justice.
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For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Ernest Hemingway

In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains + Read More..
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise.

"If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it."

Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.
$10.00
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Franco: A Personal and Political Biography

By Jesús Palacios

General Francisco Franco ruled Spain for nearly forty years, as one of the most powerful and controversial leaders in that nation's long history. He has been the subject of many biographies, several of them more than a thousand pages in length, but all the preceding works have tended toward one extreme of interpretation or the other. This is + Read More..
General Francisco Franco ruled Spain for nearly forty years, as one of the most powerful and controversial leaders in that nation's long history. He has been the subject of many biographies, several of them more than a thousand pages in length, but all the preceding works have tended toward one extreme of interpretation or the other. This is the first comprehensive scholarly biography of Franco in English that is objective and balanced in its coverage, treating all three major aspects of his life—personal, military, and political.

The co-authors, both renowned historians of Spain, present a deeply researched account that has made extensive use of the Franco Archive (long inaccessible to historians). They have also conducted in-depth interviews with his only daughter to explain better his family background, personal life, and marital environment, as well as his military and political career.

Franco: A Personal and Political Biography depicts his early life, explains his career and rise to prominence as an army officer who became Europe's youngest interwar brigadier general in 1926, and then discusses his role in the affairs of the troubled Second Spanish Republic (1931–36). Stanley G. Payne and Jesús Palacios examine in detail how Franco became dictator and how his leadership led to victory in the Spanish Civil War that consolidated his regime. They also explore Franco's role in the great repression that accompanied the Civil War—resulting in tens of thousands of executions—and examine at length his controversial role in World War II. This masterful biography highlights Franco's metamorphoses and adaptations to retain power as politics, culture, and economics shifted in the four decades of his dictatorship.
$10.00
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Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past

By Giles Tremlett

"Part modern social history, part travelogue, Ghosts of Spain is held together by elegant first-person prose…an invaluable book…[that] has become something of a bible for those of us extranjeros who have chosen to live in Spain. A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present."―Sarah Wildman, New York + Read More..
"Part modern social history, part travelogue, Ghosts of Spain is held together by elegant first-person prose…an invaluable book…[that] has become something of a bible for those of us extranjeros who have chosen to live in Spain. A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present."―Sarah Wildman, New York Times Book Review

The appearance, more than sixty years after the Spanish Civil War ended, of mass graves containing victims of Francisco Franco's death squads finally broke what Spaniards call "the pact of forgetting"―the unwritten understanding that their recent, painful past was best left unexplored.

At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around the country and through its history to discover why some of Europe's most voluble people have kept silent so long. In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today.

Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory book about one of Europe's most exciting countries.
$10.00
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Goya

By Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes, who has stunned us with comprehensive works on subjects as sweeping and complex as the history of Australia (The Fatal Shore), the modern art movement (The Shock of the New), the nature of American art (American Visions), and the nature of America itself as seen through its art (The Culture of Complaint), now turns his renowned + Read More..
Robert Hughes, who has stunned us with comprehensive works on subjects as sweeping and complex as the history of Australia (The Fatal Shore), the modern art movement (The Shock of the New), the nature of American art (American Visions), and the nature of America itself as seen through its art (The Culture of Complaint), now turns his renowned critical eye to one of art history’s most compelling, enigmatic, and important figures, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. With characteristic critical fervor and sure-eyed insight, Hughes brings us the story of an artist whose life and work bridged the transition from the eighteenth-century reign of the old masters to the early days of the nineteenth-century moderns.

With his salient passion for the artist and the art, Hughes brings Goya vividly to life through dazzling analysis of a vast breadth of his work. Building upon the historical evidence that exists, Hughes tracks Goya’s development, as man and artist, without missing a beat, from the early works commissioned by the Church, through his long, productive, and tempestuous career at court, to the darkly sinister and cryptic work he did at the end of his life.
In a work that is at once interpretive biography and cultural epic, Hughes grounds Goya firmly in the context of his time, taking us on a wild romp through Spanish history; from the brutality and easy violence of street life to the fiery terrors of the Holy Inquisition to the grave realities of war, Hughes shows us in vibrant detail the cultural forces that shaped Goya’s work.

Underlying the exhaustive, critical analysis and the rich historical background is Hughes’s own intimately personal relationship to his subject. This is a book informed not only by lifelong love and study, but by his own recent experiences of mortality and death. As such this is a uniquely moving and human book; with the same relentless and fearless intelligence he has brought to every subject he has ever tackled, Hughes here transcends biography to bring us a rich and fiercely brave book about art and life, love and rage, impotence and death. This is one genius writing at full capacity about another—and the result is truly spectacular.
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Goya and the Duchess of Alba

By Susann Waldmann

The story of the relationship between Goya and the Duchess of Alba is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and has captured the imaginations of authors since the middle of the 19th century. It is not only Goya's artistic crisis, which began with his traumatic illness in 1792-93 in Cadiz, and the creation of his famous "Caprichos" series , + Read More..
The story of the relationship between Goya and the Duchess of Alba is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and has captured the imaginations of authors since the middle of the 19th century. It is not only Goya's artistic crisis, which began with his traumatic illness in 1792-93 in Cadiz, and the creation of his famous "Caprichos" series , but also his affair with the Duchess of Alba that make the period in Goya's life between 1790 and 1800 so intriguing.

But what do we know about this love affair, which continues to fascinate us today? Did it actually take place or was it a rumour? And what sort of woman was the Duchess of Alba, who, according to a romatic version of the story, nearly drove Goya out of his senses. We would know very litle about this woman today had she not encounterted Francisco de Goya.

In this book the author investigates these and other events by examining various contemporary documents, letters from Goya to his friends, and numerous anecdotes, unfolding a sensational turn of events full of suspense.
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Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made

By Richard Rhodes

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, “The most extraordinary book about the Spanish Civil War ever encountered” (The Washington Post).

The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) inspired and haunted an extraordinary number of exceptional artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, and John Dos Passos. + Read More..
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, “The most extraordinary book about the Spanish Civil War ever encountered” (The Washington Post).

The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) inspired and haunted an extraordinary number of exceptional artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, and John Dos Passos. The idealism of the cause—defending democracy from fascism at a time when Europe was darkening toward another world war—and the brutality of the conflict inspired some of their best work: Guernica, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Homage to Catalonia, The Spanish Earth.

The war spurred breakthroughs in military and medical technology as well. New aircraft, new weapons, new tactics and strategy all emerged during this time. Progress arose from the horror: the doctors and nurses who volunteered to serve with the Spanish defenders devised major advances in battlefield surgery and frontline blood transfusion. In those ways, and in many others, the Spanish Civil War served as a test bed for World War II, and for the entire twentieth century.

From the life of John James Audubon to the invention of the atomic bomb, readers have long relied on Richard Rhodes to explain, distill, and dramatize crucial moments in history. Now, he takes us into battlefields and bomb shelters, into the studios of artists, into the crowded wards of war hospitals, and into the hearts and minds of a rich cast of characters to show how the ideological, aesthetic, and technological developments that emerged in Spain and changed the world forever. “Hell and Good Company is vivid and emotive…thrilling reading” (The Wall Street Journal).
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Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

By Amanda Vaill

"Whether or not you're a history buff, you'll be fully immersed in Vaill's chronicle of the band of journalists―including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn―who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."―Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, + Read More..
"Whether or not you're a history buff, you'll be fully immersed in Vaill's chronicle of the band of journalists―including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn―who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."―Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, are inventing modern photojournalism as they capture history in the making. And Arturo Barea, Madrid's foreign press chief, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause―a struggle that places both of them in peril. Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.

From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it out, telling it, and living it―whatever the cost.
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Iberia

By James A. Michener

Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener’s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of + Read More..
Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener’s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards, he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history. Wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful, this is Spain as experienced by a master writer.

“From the glories of the Prado to the loneliest stone villages, here is Spain, castle of old dreams and new realities.”—The New York Times
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Leaving the Atocha Station

By Ben Lerner

Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual when our experiences are mediated by language, technology, medication, and the arts? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader's projections? + Read More..
Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual when our experiences are mediated by language, technology, medication, and the arts? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader's projections? Instead of following the dictates of his fellowship, Adam’s “research” becomes a meditation on the possibility of the genuine in the arts and beyond: are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? A witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by?

In prose that veers between the comic and tragic, the self-contemptuous and the inspired, Leaving the Atocha Station is a portrait of the artist as a young man in an age of Google searches, pharmaceuticals, and spectacle.

Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979, Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a 2010-2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie. Leaving the Atocha Station is his first novel.
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Monsignor Quixote

By Graham Greene

When Father Quixote, a local priest of the Spanish village of El Toboso who claims ancestry to Cervantes’ fictional Don Quixote, is elevated to the rank of monsignor through a clerical error, he sets out on a journey to Madrid to purchase purple socks appropriate to his new station.

Accompanying him on his mission is his best friend, + Read More..
When Father Quixote, a local priest of the Spanish village of El Toboso who claims ancestry to Cervantes’ fictional Don Quixote, is elevated to the rank of monsignor through a clerical error, he sets out on a journey to Madrid to purchase purple socks appropriate to his new station.

Accompanying him on his mission is his best friend, Sancho, the Communist ex-mayor of the village who argues politics and religion with Quixote and rescues him from the various troubles his innocence lands him in along the way.

Published in 1932, Monsignor Quixote is Graham Greene’s last religious novel, a fond homage to Cervantes, and a sincere exploration into the meaning of faith in the modern world.
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Roads to Santiago

By Cees Nooteboom

Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain - its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed chronicle of Cees Nooteboom's thirty-five-year love affair with his adopted second country. He presents + Read More..
Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain - its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed chronicle of Cees Nooteboom's thirty-five-year love affair with his adopted second country. He presents a world not visible to the casual tourist, by invoking the great spirits of Spain's past-El Cid, Cervantes, Alfonso the Chaste and Alfonso the Wise, the ill-fated Hapsburgs, and Velázquez.

Be it a discussion of his trip to the magnificent Prado Museum or his visit to the shrine of the Black Madonna of Guadalupe, Nooteboom writes with the depth and intelligence of an historian, the bravado of an adventurer, and the passion of a poet.

Reminiscent of Robert Hughes's Barcelona, Roads to Santiago is the consummate portrait of Spain for all readers.
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Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile

By Julia Fox

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles + Read More..
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as “Juana the Mad,” whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband’s coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne’s sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation. Looking through the lens of their Spanish origins, Fox reveals these queens as flesh-and-blood women—equipped with character, intelligence, and conviction—who are worthy historical figures in their own right.

When they were young, Juana’s and Katherine’s futures appeared promising. They had secured politically advantageous marriages, but their dreams of love and power quickly dissolved, and the unions for which they’d spent their whole lives preparing were fraught with duplicity and betrayal. Juana, the elder sister, unexpectedly became Spain’s sovereign, but her authority was continually usurped, first by her husband and later by her son. Katherine, a young widow after the death of Prince Arthur of Wales, soon remarried his doting brother Henry and later became a key figure in a drama that altered England’s religious landscape.

Ousted from the positions of power and influence they had been groomed for and separated from their children, Katherine and Juana each turned to their rich and abiding faith and deep personal belief in their family’s dynastic legacy to cope with their enduring hardships. Sister Queens is a gripping tale of love, duty, and sacrifice—a remarkable reflection on the conflict between ambition and loyalty during an age when the greatest sin, it seems, was to have been born a woman.
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Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

By Adam Hochschild

From the acclaimed, best-selling author Adam Hochschild, a sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War, told through a dozen characters, including Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell: a tale of idealism, heartbreaking suffering, and a noble cause that failed

For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers + Read More..
From the acclaimed, best-selling author Adam Hochschild, a sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War, told through a dozen characters, including Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell: a tale of idealism, heartbreaking suffering, and a noble cause that failed

For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers flooded to Spain to help its democratic government fight off a fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. Today we're accustomed to remembering the war through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Robert Capa’s photographs. But Adam Hochschild has discovered some less familiar yet far more compelling characters who reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war: a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman who went to wartime Spain on her honeymoon, a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the war from opposites sides, and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil — at reduced prices, and on credit.

It was in many ways the opening battle of World War II, and we still have much to learn from it. Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best.