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The Olive Field

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From Kirkus:

The man can write -- and few writers today know Spain as intimately as does Ralph Bates. This is a story of modern Spain, in the throes of revolution, with the focus on two men, workers in the olive groves, radicals in the making, who have loved the same woman, and part and meet again. It is a complex tale in the interplay of revolutionary ideals, of tradition
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paperback, 440 pages
Published December 27th 1987 by Random House, Inc. (first published December 27th 1936)
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Geoffrey Fox
Feb 18, 2015 Geoffrey Fox rated it really liked it
Rural Spain on the eve of the Civil War: Joaquín Caro woos Lucía Robledo, who is seduced & knocked up by Caro's best friend, Diego Mudarra; Caro & Mudarra (both olive workers & fervent anarchists) duel with knives, but Caro can't bring himself to kill his old friend. Caro reconciles with Lucía, who comes to terms with her shame, and they marry; Caro & Mudarra are reconciled by their politics, in the 1933 uprising in Asturias & the taking and defense of Oviedo. Subplots have ...more
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Bates was born in Swindon, England in 1899 and as a teenager worked at the Great Western Railway factory. In 1917, he enlisted in the British army and served in World War I, training soldiers to prepare for poison gas attacks.

After returning from the war, he began to travel, to France and then, in 1923, to Spain, where he had wanted to visit since boyhood (his great-grandfather, a steamer captain,
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