Byron described it as `the dirtiest and most detestable spot in existence'; Coleridge complained that the onset of the Levanter Cloud made him ill with `a sense of suffocation' that caused his tongue `to go furry white and his pulse quick and low'; the Scottish writer John Galt thought that the same was `oppressive to the functions of life, and to an invalid denying all exercise'; Thackeray was entranced by the mixture of `swarthy Moors, dark Spanish smugglers in tufted hats, and fuddled seamen from men-of-war' sauntering through Gibraltar's Main Street; Benjamin Disraeli thought that the Rock was `a wonderful place, with a population infinitely diversified'; John Drinkwater complained about `the scorpion, centipes and other venomous reptiles which abound among the rocks and the old buildings'; George Whitefield, never a man to mince his words, believed that `drunkenness was a sin that easily beset the men of Gibraltar'; Mark Twain rhapsodised about the `bare-kneed Highlanders' wandering around the Garrison, `as well as the soft-eyed Spanish girls from San Roque, veiled Moorish beauties from Tarifa, and long-robed, bare-legged, ragged Muhammadan vagabonds from Tetuán and Tangier....' These and other comments about Gibraltar are to be found in WRITING THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR, a new volume edited by M. G. Sanchez.
From the Publisher
'Writing the Rock of Gibraltar' is the latest book to be
published by the Rock Scorpion Press on the topic of Gibraltar. Please go
to rockscorpion.com for more information.