Recommended Reading

Books in the society libraryMany of our members want to know more about Spain’s unique history over the year. For them, we include this list of books to help them learn about and better comprehend Spain’s unique and important place  world history.

Origins of The Inquistion
In 15th Century Spain

B.Netanyahu New York Review of Books 2001

A massive works with over 1.200 pages (definately not one to add to your suitcase so read before your trip). A dramatic insight into the sinister workings of the Spanish Inquisition. Jews, Heritics and other unfortunates never had a chance. Much of what is recorded in this excellent account is incorporated in the Society’s own popular tour ‘From Saint to the Inquisition’

The Dangerous Summer

Ernest Hemingway Touchstone Books. Simon & Schuster

`Papa’ returned to Spain with his wife Mary in the late 1950’s. This book covers the bull-fighting season when two the the greatest matadors of the day, Luis Miguel Domingun and Antonio Ordoñez were out to prove who was the Number One. This is a griping story with the odd pause from bull-fights to sample the vino and tapas. Be sure to read the introduction by James Michener.

Iberia. Spanish Travels & Reflections

James.A.Michener. Randon House Inc. USA 1968

Although written 30 years ago this still remains a classic for those fellow travelers who want to understand Spaniards and their traditions.Wines, fiestas, bull-fighting and life in cities and villages throughout Spain are all covered in some detail.

Wine Roads of Spain

By Marc & Kim Million. Harper Collins Publishers 1993.

A useful listing of regional wines as well as the more famous ones. Superb color photos of bodegas and the Spanish countryside. Some of their historical notes are a bit shaky though.

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes Airmont Publishing Co.Inc. New York

This is a complete and unabridged copy of the greatest Spanish novel ever written. It is as funny and thought provoking now as it was when it was first read by the general public 400 years ago. Enjoy the stories of the knight-errant and his loyal servant, Sancho Panza, as they take on more than just windmills!


Robert Milne-Tyte Wordsworth Editions 1998

King Philip the Second’s ‘Invincible’ Fleet set sail for the invasion of Protestant England in 1588. This is an excellent version of the Armada’s voyage and the naval battles that took place in the English Channel. The tragic end to Philip’s great dream of defeating the heritic English is one of the best accounts ever written.

Wellington’s Peninsular War Battles & Battlefields

by Sir Julian Paget. Published by Leo Cooper,Michelin House,81 Fulham Road, London.

This informative book deals with Wellington’s campaigns in both Spain & Portugal; how the battles were fought and how to reach them today. Not one historical mistake in the entire book as our Chairman was asked to check the MS before it went to print!

Cities of Spain

by David Gilmour. Pimlico Press, 1992.

An excellent book dealing in historical anecdotes of nine Spanish cities, namely Toledo, Cordoba, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Salamanca, Cadiz, Barcelona, San Sebastian and finally Madrid. Gilmour’s knowledge of Spanish history and the people who made it is quite remarkable. The Financial Times says this book is “The perfect companion for any traveller” and we wholeheartedly agree!

The Bible in Spain

by George Henry Borrow. Century Publishing, London 1985. Available in USA from various publishers.

Borrow came to Spain in 1836 as agent for the British & Foreign Bible Society. During his four year stay he managed to cover most of the country, even though there was a civil war on at the time, run foul of the Catholic Church, get thrown into the capital jail, hang about with gypsies, horse thieves and other elements of
society and generally have an adventure. The Bible in Spain recounts his many exciting episodes and is as popular now as it was when first published in 1842. The Society does a walking tour of George Borrow’s Madrid.


by Richard Fletcher, University of California Press, 1992.

An absolute must for those travelers to Spain who have Granada, Cordoba, Malaga and Sevilla high on their list of places to visit. Fletcher writes in a way that the reader is never lost in the story of the Moors in Spain. He clearly and without fuss explains the reasons for the Moorish expansion in and ultimate expulsion from Spain.

The Written Road to Spain

by Peter Besas. Published by the author at Calle Lagasca, 104, 28006 Madrid.

A wonderful book which includes many travelers to Spain in the 19th century. These include Richard Ford, Washington Irvine, Alexandre Dumas and, of course, George Borrow. Lots of lovely anecdotes from these hardy men and women who were more than just tourists!

Literary Routes of Spain

Publishers, Turespaña Madrid 1991, translated by James Brander. Obtainable through our Members Book Service.

An absolute must for the traveler wishing to wander through the by-ways of Spain. Twenty three Spanish writers have added their knowledge and favourite places to visit off the beaten track. All seventeen of the autonomous communities are included in this informative book. Local cuisine, history and local anecdotes can be found within. The translation is excellent and of course should be as James Brander is a Founding Member of the Wellington Society!