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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  31 reviews
First published in 1964, this universally praised odyssey through Spain has been revised and superbly illustrated. History, legend, landscape, architecture, religion, character, and anecdote are brilliantly woven together to create a fascinating and complex portrait. 120 color illustrations.
Published (first published 1964)
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Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ļoti lēnām lasāma un skaisti uzrakstīta Spānijas kultūras vēstures grāmata, kurā personiskie iespaidi sajaucas ar leģendām par svētajiem, kas atstāstītas kā īstākie fakti.
Mark Colenutt
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
* 2.5 estrelas

Um relato interessante, especialmente considerando o tempo em que foi escrito. Por isso mesmo, no entanto, é também um relato anacrónico. Ao longo da leitura, achei estranho a autora não comentar a situação socio-política do país como razão de muitas coisas que relata aqui, mas no fim descobre-se que Morris é da opinião que os espanhóis são um povo dado a regimes despóticos, até moldados para estes, o que talvez explica o facto de não ser dada atenção à causalidade entre a pobreza
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travelogue
Apesar de a própria autora assumir, logo a abrir, que este é um livro datado, não deixa de ser uma aventura intensa percorrer com a prosa erudita e elegante de Jan Morris os caminhos, as cidades, os rios, a história e a geografia de Espanha. A nota de abertura tem a ver com o facto de a Espanha apresentada no livro ser essencialmente a que reflectia o longo e autocrático consulado do Generalíssimo Franco, e é inegável que por vezes temos a impressão de que o olhar de Morris se deixou influenciar ...more
Răzvan Molea
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Şi loialităţile spaniole sunt subîmpărţite, căci această ţară e caracterizată nu doar de regionalism, ci şi de un localism pătimaş. Pentru mulţi spanioli, patriotismul nu merge mai departe de satul lor, iar Spania, la modul abstract, e doar un agent fiscal sau un sergent major. Limba spaniolă variază nu doar de la o provincie la alta, ci chiar de la un sat la altul şi entitatea sătească are o autonomie atât de mare, încât în timpul războaielor napoleoniene primarul din Móstoles, un cătun de lâng ...more
Mircea Poeana
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan Morris s-a nascut sub numele James Humphry Morris.
A decis sa devina femeie, dupa o casatorie de 25 de ani si nasterea a cinci copii.
O femeie sensibila, inteligenta, intr-un trup de barbat.
O personalitate "exotica" ce transpare in fiecare pagina a "tabloului" de fata.
Jan Morris picteaza in cuvinte asezate cu penelul imaginatiei exact acolo unde isi au locul, intr-o montura policroma care ne aminteste de peisajele lui William Turner.
"Spania" nu este un ghid turistic si am fi dezamagiti daca am
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan Morris examines the character of Spain and her people through the lenses of the geography and the history of the Iberian Peninsula. I found this a good introduction in preparation for travelling there next week.

It is a bit dated and I will be interested to see what has changed since this book was originally published in the 1960s. It is also recommended to have a map of Spain close by so that you can keep track of the provinces and cities/ towns that are mentioned.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spain
I very much enjoyed this as I read it during our first few days in Spain. Her style is lyrical, and Morris always has a sharp eye for detail and anecdote. The section on Toledo was a particular treat to read after our visit. But I must confess that, two weeks later, I don't remember another thing about it. Time to re-read? ...more
While there were some generally interesting insights and accurate observations, the 40+ years since the book was written have altered Spain in important ways. Alas, not something I could use with my students.
Supriyo Chaudhuri
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful little book about Spain, it's history, geography and culture in a narrative form, gloriously presented as only Jan Morris can do. It's a bit dated - it was written when Russia was still Communist - but as I wanted to understand the meaning of Spain, I could have found nothing better. ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
sights, history in a brief, not so travel book.
martin anthony mullen
Really interesting details not easily available in tourist guide books. A kind of intellectual / historical Bryson guide to Spain
Catherine Oughtibridge
Got a bit bogged down in the architectual terms for parts of churches. But otherwise a fascinating read.
The value of this book reduces inexorably as you proceed through it. This is unfortunate as the first two/three chapters are truly excellent.
Pedro Trujillo
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Interesante discípula - en parte - de Richard Ford, pero en los 60-80 del siglo XX. Muy buena traducción, pues rezuma crítica y erudición tradicional.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Dated but fascinating account of a country not long out of Franco’s control.
Howard Richards
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Rather dates now and a bit hard going to be honest.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Filled with obscure but fascinating facts and captivating details all delivered in Jan Morris' luminous prose, this is a classic. A bit dated, but still highly recommended. ...more
Josh Friedlander
Full of the wonder and wildness of ancient, chivalrous, Spain, and the disorienting possibility of the post-Franco* years. Short on details, long on experiences - like the best travel (writing).

P.S. I'm going on Friday!

*Though only barely, when this book came out.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sol y Sombre; there is a chapter called this in the book and it sums up Spain. It’s a country that has many wonderful aspects to it but it also had a dark side. Though written quite a few years ago I think this book captures Spain perfectly and I really enjoyed it. Her use of language made it a challenging read & I needed to keep a dictionary handy, but in a way, this made the book even more interesting. I can’t say I know Spain well, I can say I have spent quite a lot of time there. My first vi ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Nick Sweeney
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Katy Koivastik
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense, thoughtful and full of color, just as I am sure Spain herself is. This book is neither a travel guide per se, nor is it entirely a history book, but more a series of impressionistic paintings bringing the Spain of the past, present and future together.

I loved reading this book and am even more eager to embark on my trip there a couple of months from now. Ms. Morris has clearly traveled extensively and is an excellent reporter.
Nick Benson
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Roger Buck
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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:
Mar 25, 2008 is currently reading it
Chinese copy
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great book on the mentality of a Spain that was moving away from Franco's time but somewhat outdated. ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
1964 non-fiction: very dry; would have been helpful to travelers before era of packages & loads of travel literature
Peter Jordan
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spain
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. ...more
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Jan Morris was 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 assigned birth name, "James ", and is known particularly for the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire, and for portraits of cities, notably Oxford, Venice, Tries ...more

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