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South from Granada: A Sojourn in Southern Spain
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South from Granada: A Sojourn in Southern Spain

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  17 reviews
An amusing and insightful account of Spanish village life from a brilliant interpreter of Spain to the rest of the world (The Times).
Paperback, 282 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Kodansha (first published 1976)
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The First World War had a powerful effect on many of its participants; Gerald Brenan was one of those. Brenan came from an Anglo-Irish military family. He had the usual public school education, hated it and was bullied. He was expected to go into the army, but at 18 elected instead to walk to China with a friend John Hope-Johnstone. They made it to the Balkans, but events intervened. Brenan served in the army for the whole of the war. In 1919 he decided to move to Spain and chose the remote Alpu ...more
This is a classic as well it should be. Brenan lived for years in a small village in the Alpujarra region of Spain and gives us a detailed chronicle of life among the villagers and in this landscape. He is a fine observer of people, nature, himself.
Although it was first published over half a century ago, Gerald Brenan's "South from Granada" is still considered by many to be the canonical text about the Alpujarra region of Spain's Sierra Nevada, the standard against which all other work is judged. Does it deserve its exalted reputation? You'll get no argument from me.

Brenan writes intelligently and fluidly, and his account is always interesting, whether he is writing about his own personal experiences, or about his neighbors and the local c
Sandra Danby
There is a wonderful portrait of Gerald Brenan in the National Portrait Gallery in London, painted by Dora Carrington, a fellow member of the Bloomsbury Group. It shows a glowing, blond good-looking man, the least like a dark, swarthy man of Andalucía that can be imagined. It is clear from his writing however that he understood the Spanish people of the South. This book is set in Yegen, a village in the Alpujarras, the same mountain area south of Granada made famous at the end of the 20th centur ...more
Nick Klagge
I got this book unexpectedly as a gift from a friend--I had never heard of it or the author, but the friend thought I would like it. I did, and I'm glad I read it.

The author was an Englishman and a peripheral member of the Bloomsbury circle who, after WWI, decided to take his military stipend to live somewhere remote where he could make it last for a while and just live a quiet life. That turned out to be a village in southern Spain called Yegen, which by the author's telling was quite remote i
Rob Innis
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)
Spent a week wandering around Andalucia this spring on a motorbike and this book makes me wish I could turn time back and go again
Great snapshot of life in Spain in the early 20th century. Reads like an ethnology/travelogue..
Wonderful autobiographical work by expat on early years -- pre tourist Spain.
visited Yegan while i read the book
Mark Colenutt
The British have an impressive Hispanophile heritage and have conrtibuted enormously not only to spreading the fame of Spain to the four corners, but also to conserving much of the country's past and transition into modernity among their pages.

Gerald Brenan then is amongst the most celebrated of those writers whose adventures began just before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. He took to the high hills of Granada, into the old Berber villages of Andalusia with a mule train carrying a thousa
Theresa Tomlinson
Just finished reading SOUTH FROM GRANADA - by Gerald Brennan a book group choice!
I’ve loved it! Andalucía in the 1920’s - found it utterly fascinating and learnt so much more about the history and culture. Came to understand a bit more about Spanish Carnivals and fiestas - more about Flamenco singing and dancing - but in a way that makes me want to keep discovering even more, which can’t be a bad thing! We are going to read HOMAGE TO CATALONIA now!
Charlie Wall
Generally a good read, but it's one of those books that could have used drastic intervention from a decent editor. It is rambling in places and badly organised, as if he has sat down at a typewriter years later and written each and every thing he wants to say in the order in which he has remembered them.
Brian Grover
Had high hopes for this one, but the guy lost me pretty early when he talked enthusiastically about what a character his neighbor was, and proceeded to recount a story about him raping a mentally retarded woman in her home as an example of his quirkiness. As for the rest of the book, I think he does a good job of making a beautiful part of Spain seem extremely boring.
Michael Boerm
This is a good look at life in Spain (specifically one village in Anadalucia) from the eyes of a British ex-pat in the 1920's who moved there. Similar to "Christ Stopped at Eboli" about Matera, Italy. I found it generally very enjoyable and informative. The chapter about the Scottish reclusive alcoholic is really good!
A great travel memoir, especially if you love Spain like I do. Gerard Brennan fought for the republic in the Spanish Civil War (just like Orwell) and settled there after the fighting stopped. He lived and traveled all over the south of Spain, and his writing is really excellent.
A must read for everyone who lives in, or is thinking of moving to, rural Andalusia. Eventhough written over half a century ago, many observations in this book can still be lived and experienced the same way today.
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Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan, CBE was a British writer and Hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain.

He is best known for The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background to the Spanish Civil War, and for South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalusian Village. He was awarded a CBE in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List in 1982.
More about Gerald Brenan...
The Spanish Labyrinth: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Spanish Civil War Face of Spain A Life of One's Own: Childhood and Youth Personal Record 1920-1972 Memoria Personal, 1920 1975

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