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South from Granada (Penguin Travel Library) [Paperback]

Gerald Brenan
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 July 1992 Penguin Travel Library
Gerald Brenan is generally regarded as the greatest of English writers about Spain. "South from Granada" describes the essence of a remote rural area before the Civil War with vivid sympathy. Here, brought back to life, are the festivals and folk-lore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, the village customs, superstitions and characters. Equally compelling are chapters on Granada in the twenties, food and the Phoenicians, the cheap brothels and archaeological remains of Almeria, the stark but haunting mountain scenery and even a visit from Virginia Woolf. The result was acclaimed on publication as a masterpiece; it remains a classic, richly evocative account of a lost way of life.


Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140167005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140167009
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Published for the first time in Penguin Modern Classics, WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY CHRIS STEWART. Describing the essence of a remote rural area before the Spanish Civil War, this book explores the festivals and folklore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, the village customs, superstitions and characters. It includes chapters on Granada in the Twenties, food and the Phoenicians, the cheap brothels and archaeological remains of Almeria, the mountain scenery and even a visit from Virginia Woolf. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IT was in September 1919 that I went to Spain for the first time. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 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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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUTH FROM GRANADA BY GERALD BRENAN 23 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true taste of old Spain. 25 Jun 2007
By C. Lamb
Format:Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars south from Granada 14 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
I bought this book after being recomended it while on Holiday in the Alpujarra. It is a very enjoyable book to read, never hard work to understand, and I can happily pick it up and enjoy a few pages when I have the time. The book gives a very interesting account of the Alpujarra region in the early 1920's, how Gerald managed the traveling with very few roads, where he stayed and detailed pictures of daily life for the local people. I would recomed it to anyone who loves this region of Spain and has an interest in History.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars South from Granada by Gerald Brenan 5 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I bought this as a present for a friend. I read it a few years ago. Excellent account of living in Alpajarras area of Andalucia in 1920s Spain.
Highly recommended for those interested in social history and as a well written personal experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy muy agradable 4 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book so much that I had to ration myself, just reading a chapter at a time while I had another book on the go. Of course I may be a little prejudiced as a Spanophile, but I do not remember doing that with any other book. Brenan's writing style and his intimate knowledge of the Alpurra and their people paint a vivid picture of a life style that had existed for millenia but has now largely disappeared. It should delight you whether you know the area or not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Social History 17 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
Being an Expat myself - I loved this book - so interesting to read about Expat life 90 years ago. How simple life was then but they still seemed happy and satisfied. A marvellous piece of social history. Cannot understand why Hemingway and Orwell are more popular. (I read the original version)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars South from Grenada 22 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
An absolutely superb read. Would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who is living in Andalucia - a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 month 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 2 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 2 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 3 months ago by BRIAN CHALLIS
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful piece of writing
This is one of the greatest pieces of literature describing life in the Alpujarras when access was on foot or by mule and donkey. Read more
Published 3 months ago by RoyLB
5.0 out of 5 stars important record of the alpujarras
brenan writes of a time before the civil war and captures this little recorded valley with humour and great observation. Read more
Published 7 months ago by polly Holbrook
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic British travel literature
A beautiful and evocative description of rural life in pre-civil war Andalusia. The author's language and style reflects the culture and style of an educated and refined caste that... Read more
Published 8 months ago by S.NEIL.BRAILSFORD
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This is a disappointing book: It isn't quite a travel book, or an autobiography, or a guide. In fact it's difficult to say what it actually is. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Squern
5.0 out of 5 stars south from granada
A GREAT BOOK GIVING THE READER A REAL INSITE INTO OLD SPAIN AND IS OLD COLTURES ETC REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK
Published 8 months ago by brian harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book and quality
Gerald Brenan's book is a classic. Maybe not known by a lot of people, but it really opens up the Alpujarras for the reader, and Brenan is am original writer with a great eye for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Torben Holleufer
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