A Romantic in Spainby Theophile Gautier
Fans of Spain and travel literature will very much enjoy Gautier's account of his five-month journey of 1840, which was written in installments to the journal La Presse. The beautifully observed accounts of the people, places, art, architecture, food and culture vie with Henry Adams' account of Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres. The account is presented in the 1926 translation of Catherine Alison Phillips. Robert Snell provides a short introduction to this edition.
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Gautier gives us a truly beautiful description of 1840s Spain in all its Romantic detail- festivals, 'heroic' bandits, and fun loving yet dignified 'majos.' While you must take into account that his writings make Spain into a European outpost of the mysterious 'East,' it's still a wonderful book, an insight into a bygone age.