This little book describes the Andalucian journey Laurie Lee made with his wife Kati in winter of 1951-2. Published in 1955, it was his first book (not counting some earlier collections of verse), predating Cider with Rosie
, his best-known work, by four years. He was to write about his Spanish travels again in his following book As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning
(1969), although that deals with an earlier journey. Comparing the two, the present book could be viewed as a more straightforward travelogue, presenting vividly evocative pictures of a handful of towns, the landscape and the people who live there.
I took this along to reread on a trip to Andalucia last week, and was very pleased I'd remembered to do so: to be able to, for example, read about how (p34) "Seville remains, favoured and sensual, exuding from the banks of its golden river a miasma of perpetual excitement" whilst sitting on the bus headed for that fair city created a tangible sense of expectation that was more than met by the experience of seeing Seville for the first time.