South From Granada

Gerald Brenan

Readers Union 1958
A book review by Danny Yee © 1997
Having survived the First World War trenches, Gerald Brenan settled himself down in the Andalusian mountain village of Yegen, taking with him two thousand books and planning to educate himself; he spent over six years there during the next decade and a half. South From Granada is a cross between an ethnography and a travel narrative, in which Brenan describes the customs of the region (he wanders as far as Guadix, Almeria, and Granada), its natural history, its history, and his personal experiences there. The result is ethnographically unsophisticated, but never patronising or insensitive; it is pleasant and entertaining reading. Bonuses for those with literary interests are Brenan's accounts of visits by friends, among them Lytton Strachey, Carrington, and Virginia Woolf, and a brief evaluation of "Bloomsbury".

[ It's an appealing idea: I could take my savings and all my books and spend four or five years in a remote Javanese village, preferably one with a gamelan and Net access. ]

March 1997

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%T South From Granada
%A Brenan, Gerald
%I Readers Union
%D 1958
%O hardcover
%G ISBN 0140167005
%P xii,282pp,8pp b&w photos