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South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics)

South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Gerald Brenan , Chris Stewart
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The best of Brenan's books: he has a true and proper knowledge of the culture he describes' -- Cyril Connolly, Sunday Times

`A brilliant interpreter of Spain to the rest of the world'
-- The Times

Product Description

Between 1920 and 1934, Gerald Brenan lived in the remote Spanish village of Yegen and South of Granada depicts his time there, vividly evoking the essence of his rural surroundings and the Spanish way of life before the Civil War. Here he portrays the landscapes, festivals and folk-lore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, village customs, superstitions and characters. Fascinating details emerge, from cheap brothels to archaeological remains, along with visits from Brenan’s friends from the Bloomsbury group – Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf among them. Knowledgeable, elegant and sympathetic, this is a rich account of Spain’s vanished past.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 959 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0033806NC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,578 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUTH FROM GRANADA BY GERALD BRENAN 23 Sept. 2002
This book has to be a must for anyone living or travelling in the southern most parts of Spain. It clearly paints a picture of the life and times of a nation and its people, who in a short period of time have moved from a society living in part, a medievial life style, through to civil war, and the threshold of the modern state Spain has become today.
Brenan tells a tale of village life,and of the people who lived there, and records their folk-lores, customs and history; and also of the visitors to his home, Virginia Wolf, Dora Carrington, Lytton Strachey and Augustus John, and of their connections within the Bloomsbury group.
The places are real, they are still there, and through this book a modern day visitor can travel back in time and with just a little imagination, recreate those the scenes and passions of 80 years ago; of Yeger, the village for severn years his home, and of the cities of Granada and Almeria and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
It is a delightful book full of colour and once started you may find very difficult to put down.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating Reading 16 Jan. 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Intoxicating account of Mr Brenan's arrival and adventures in the Alpujarra, Andalucia in the 1920's. After all these years, his observations and humour still strike a chord. Even if you are visiting the Costa Del Sol on for the sun or golf, read this for an insight to the "real" Spain and its history - just few miles inland.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true taste of old Spain. 25 Jun. 2007
By C. Lamb
This is a true classic from Gerald Brenan. After WW1 the author was close to breakdown, desperate to experience poetry and literature and the recipient of a small war pension. His solution was to travel to a remote village in the South of Spain, take 2000 books and soak in the atmosphere and learn how to love once again. His journey is understated, educated, intelligent and human.

It is no picture book. It is a true snapshot taken through the eyes of a would-be Bloomsbury boy who had experienced the Empire, the Somme and physical illness and who then decided to actually pay attention to the world sarrounding him.

Brenans description of the personalities, geography, love affairs and society he encounters are glorious to me. There is no vanity or laziness in the writing. As his lifestyle is stripped to necessities so is his writing. Yet it is free and beautiful and evocative in many places. So many modern travel writers try to recreate life as a gaudy, filter-enhanced, postcard picture of the places they are subsidised to visit. Gerald Brenan captures a clear, gentle, colour snap of his life spent in Yegen during a period of time when black and white was all the camera could capture. Perhaps that is the reason it seems to have been so important for him to record it faithfully.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral travel literature 15 Feb. 2006
I read this book before spending three weeks in Granada with the weekends in the Alpujarras. I have never been better prepared by a piece of fiction for a holiday. The prose is superb, and the stories are enticing. Naturally, excessive tourism has changed the areas that Brenan discusses, but the spirit of the book can still be seen. This book can bring some of the magic of the area to armchair readers, or is the perfect complement to an Andalucian break. Beats the Lonely Planet Guide any day of the week!
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars South From Granada 19 Jan. 2003
By DicKip
If you're looking for a travel guide of the Sierra Nevada, then this book isn't it. It's Gerald Brenan's account of his experiences of village life in the Alpujarra (near Granada) just after the 1st World War.

It's well written, and his descriptions of people, village life and intrigue are excellent. What he wrote about local food and customs is interesting, but I found less compelling.

If you're visiting the area, then you should read this book to capture some of the atmosphere, which may still be found today, although perhaps not now quite as primitive as described by Brenan.

He also captures glimpses of the Spanish character, which he describes well and which are very useful to anyone new to the area.

A rewarding read, which was enough to make us hire a car from Granada and go and see for ourselves - we were not disappointed.
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By Chris Pearson VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brenan's book provides a comprehensive and rich account of living in the remote Alpujarra region of Andalusia in the twenties.

Written in a direct, lucid and personable style (even to the extent that when he is about to set out a description of the country he suggests to the reader that `those who do not like geography can skip a few pages'), the book covers the history, geology, society, sartorial etiquette - in fact every aspect of living there after WW1. It's a travelogue, autobiography and guidebook all rolled into one.

It's the perfect counterpoint to Chris Stewart's series of books documenting his life there today.

As you read about the remoteness, conditions and welfare of the people in the villages back in the twenties, it's hard to imagine the speed at which the area must have subsequently changed as a result of the impact of the road and transport infrastructure, tourism, the EU, and even the internet that Chris Stewart now enjoys on his isolated farm.

Take a trip back with Brenan, and immerse yourself in Andalusia of old.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading.
I was recommended this book by a friend who lives in Andalucia. I would recommend anyone in their early twenties to read this book, as inspiration for travelling and living abroad. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Andy W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as described
Published 1 month ago by mrs k e caplan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Margharet Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 2 months ago by Michael David Treacy
5.0 out of 5 stars superb and captivating insight into a Spain that has now vanished
I read this following Chris Stewart's glowing recommendation in his last book and was captivated. It is a remarkably engaging book despite its broad brush approach to both Almeria... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deelsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by squich
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Would liked to have learnt more about the big gaps in the book. The Civil war? where did he meet his wife? why did they come back to Spain? So many unanswered questions!
Published 11 months ago by P. Bond
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Superb! I can't really say anything bad about this book. It gripped me from start to finish. Extremely interesting writing!
Published 12 months ago by Darren steven
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Clever People
I first heard of this book from our Tour Guide as we visited the Alpujarras. What a font of knowledge. This is a book that I am really savouring. Read more
Published 12 months ago by shirley degani
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Spain
I spend my holidays in Menorca(Spain) and I feel that I am right there during these Winter months in England
Published 12 months ago by BRIAN CHALLIS
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