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Jan Morris
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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  159 Ratings  ·  22 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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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
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
May 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare for me to give up on a book but I found this one long winded and boring. A "let's see how many lovely ways I can describe Spain" rather than anything historically interesting, maybe it got better.
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 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
sights, history in a brief, not so travel book.
The value of this book reduces inexorably as you proceed through it. This is unfortunate as the first two/three chapters are truly excellent.
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.
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 firs ...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
Rob Innis
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

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.
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.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
The writing is just a meandering over romanced jumble. Read Wikipedia instead for a history lesson.
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.
David Patterson
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Oct 15, 2014
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Hispanophiles: Sp...: Spain - Jan Morris, a book review 4 16 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
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