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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Passionate, evocative and beautifully written, Spain is a companion to the country: its people, its history--and its character. First published in 1964 and now with a new introduction, Jan Morris's classic works brings Spain, its glory and its tragedy, vividly to life.
Paperback, 155 pages
Published August 7th 2008 by Faber & Faber (first published 1964)
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Mark Colenutt
This is a one-stop read on Spain. Probably no book this short can offer as much insight and you have Morris' writing style as well. Naturally, the country has an enormous history from its Iberian settlement through it phases of Phoenician and Greek development spurred on by Mediterranean trade. Then it became Rome's most important outpost after the Carthiginian's were finally defeated just outside Seville. Then Rome delcined and fell opening the way for the occupations by Germanic tribes. Follow...more
Oct 07, 2008 theduckthief rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like travel literature
"Spain is one of the absolutes. Most States nowadays are willy-nilly passive, subject always to successive alien forces. Spain still declines in the active mood. She is not a great Power, but in her minor way she is one of the prime movers still - still a nation that sets its own standards." - page 22

Jan Morris, travel writer extraordinaire shows us an in-depth look at Spain in which we traverse time and space, examining the rich and varied history of the country. We are exposed to Spain's trium...more
Luis GC

No se si habrán "corregido" algo en ediciones posteriores, pero en la mía ( del 64c revisado en el 79) se mostraban todos los topicazos que tenían de nosotros en el exterior, de manera bestial. Ahora no recuerdo ejemplos pero lo releeré en algún momento porque recuerdo que algunos me impactaron.

Aún recuerdo perfectamente cuando y como lo leí. Estaba de vacaciones en Calpe (Alicante) en un piso alquilado con otros dos amigos. Ellos se acostaron tras una noche de copas y yo rebusqué en las...more
Nick Sweeney
I find Jan Morris's writing fascinating in general. I loved her 'Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere'. I read it in Trieste, and I think, Trieste being a relatively small place, albeit with a fascinating history, she managed to cover everything of interest in a reasonably short book.

Spain, the depth and breadth and width of it, and its kings and queens and empires, the Civil War, its encroaching into what is now South America, deserved a much longer book, really. How do you do justice to it in a...more
Roger Buck
Beautiful, poetic insight into the Soul of Spain. The best book on Spain I know, which helped me understand that great Catholic culture when I lived there. By contrast, my own paltry in comparison writings on Catholic Spain can be found here:
1964 non-fiction: very dry; would have been helpful to travelers before era of packages & loads of travel literature
Rob Innis
Thoroughly enjoyable, informative well observed and written with a concise informative style. OK it was first published in 1964 so it is now a book of social as well as actual history. It fills a gap between earlier Brenan and Lee books (20s and 30s respectively)and more recent books on Spain.
Quite eye opening how behind things were in Spain in the 60s even though it is now 50 years ago.

Micah Harding
Having read a little bit about Spain, this short little book was like a poem, including all the fun stuff. It was like skimming all the cream off the top of the milk and painting a perfect little picture of Spain. My only problem with the book was that I never know whether to call the author John or Jan, but I tried not to think about that.
Nick Benson
I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm not sure I would have done if I were Spanish. (eg she thinks that being subject to an autocrat - written not long after Franco had died - suits the national character - though she does hope that she's wrong and that democracy will take hold). Spain as magnificent, austere, proud, martial, entranced by death.
Peter Jordan
The first book by Morris that I've read and what a lovely read. So thoughtful and well written. On balance, a rather negative view of the Spanish though.
Mar 25, 2008 Cecily is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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Hispanophiles: Sp...: Spain - Jan Morris, a book review 4 10 Sep 06, 2013 12:58PM  
Jan Morris previously wrote under the name James Morris.

Jan Morris is a British historian, author and travel writer. Morris was educated at Lancing College, West Sussex, and Christ Church, Oxford, but is Welsh by heritage and adoption. Before 1970 Morris published under her former name, "James Morris", and is known particularly for the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire, and...more
More about Jan Morris...
Venice Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (The Pax Britannica Trilogy, #1) Conundrum Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire

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