Why did I read it?
I am fascinated by the Spanish Civil War and Spanish history/ culture in general. I have read bits of this before so thought I’d read it all in one go.
Memoir/ Biography, Travel, History, Non-fiction
Laurie Lee recounts his journey when, at the age of 19, he sets out from home to walk across England to London, and then decides to travel across Spain.
As one of the captions on the blurb for this says, it is a poet’s book. Everything is described incredibly vividly, you can almost smell and taste every step of Laurie Lee’s journey. I equally enjoyed the parts about England and Spain, but for me his journey south towards and inside Andalusia was the most fascinating, particularly as, with the benefit of both our and Lee’s hindsight (it was written in the 1960s) you know the Civil War is approaching. You can really sense the simmering tension in the country, and the contradictions between rich and poor, but I do get the feeling that this might have been added in later, by the ‘fully grown up’ Laurie when he came to write this account 30 years later. Nonetheless, an important and passionate account. I look forward to reading A Moment of War depicting his experiences when he returned to Spain to volunteer for the Republic.