"I wanted to search out the memories of Spain's cultural protagonists and in so doing explore the metaphorical and mythical landscapes that the Spaniards themselves had created. I was also interested in a Spain that contradicted and even parodied romantic images of Spanishness, an ephemeral and anarchic Spain of discos, pollution, unpublished poets, architectural tack, gastronomic passions, historical shams and fantastical bad taste."
In this classic and much-loved portrait of Spain, acclaimed author Michael Jacobs travels far off the beaten track and in the footsteps of some of Spain's most iconic literary figures - Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Manuel Vazquez Montalban - to some of the country's most undiscovered places. In so doing, he discovers the very heart of Spain.
One of the best portraits of Spain to be written in the last century: a classic
`What a curious and fascinating book... a true page turner... an extraordinarily rich book.' - Adam Hopkins, Guardian, `Jacobs is an engaging, wonderfully informative and ever-surprising companion... one feels throughout that what he writes is true.' - Jan Morris, Independent, `Quizzical, well-informed, rich in human interest and excellent on literary associations, this entertaining and compulsively readable journey reveals Jacobs to be a worthy successor to Laurie Lee and V.S. Pritchett' - Ian Gibson, `Jacobs has a gift for finding exotic corners in a familiar city and of resuscitating the forgotten with colourful intensity... a worthy companion to the best of modern books on the subject.' - Paul Preston, TLS, `Few modern books on Spain have succeeded in going beyond all the cliches and giving a portrait of the real country... Jacobs has managed to do so.' - El Pais, `A funny, learned and beautifully written travelogue' - Boyd Tonkin, New Statesman
Michael Jacobs (1952-2014) was a writer, art historian and renowned Hispanophile, "a scholar gypsy", who wrote several books on European and British art, as we as many highly acclaimed travel books on Spain and South America, including The Factory of Light: Tales from My Andalucian Village, Alhambra, Ghost Train through the Andes and The Robber of Memories: A River Journey through Columbia.