100 books like The Bible in Spain; or, the journeys, adventures, and imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Henry Borrow,

Here are 100 books that The Bible in Spain; or, the journeys, adventures, and imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula fans have personally recommended if you like The Bible in Spain; or, the journeys, adventures, and imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Tuning Up at Dawn: A Memoir of Music and Majorca

Jason Webster Author Of Why Spain Matters: The Story of the Land that Shaped the Western World

From my list on Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason Webster is the international best-selling author of fifteen books on Spain, including Duende, Sacred Sierra, The Spy with 29 Names, Violencia: A New History of Spain, and the Max Cámara series of crime novels. He is a publisher, broadcaster, award-winning photographer, a board member of The Scheherazade Foundation, and is married to the Flamenco dancer Salud.

Jason's book list on Spain

Jason Webster Why did Jason love this book?

The books in this list are all written by non-Spaniards, for obvious reasons. This one is almost an exception. Tomás Graves is the eighth son of the English poet and novelist Robert Graves. He has lived almost his entire life on the island of Mallorca, and is, effectively, as native as they come. Tuning Up at Dawn is a wonderfully lyrical account of his upbringing, his memories of his father, and his life as a musician. It is deliciously evocative of a slower world which has now all but disappeared.

By Tomas Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tuning Up at Dawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A loving portrait of the other Majorca, and of a blissful life there revolving around the magic of music - a book to savour, perfect for escaping those crowded beaches.

Tomas Graves was born in and belongs to Majorca. His father, the great love poet Robert Graves, famously ended up on the beautiful Mediterranean island pretty much by accident, but it is the happiest accident of Tomas' life. His love for the special beauties of Majorcan culture shines on every page of this infectiously happy book. This is the real Majorca. 'Tuning Up at Dawn' examines both the suppression and…


Book cover of Madrid: A Guide for Literary Travellers

Jason Webster Author Of Why Spain Matters: The Story of the Land that Shaped the Western World

From my list on Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason Webster is the international best-selling author of fifteen books on Spain, including Duende, Sacred Sierra, The Spy with 29 Names, Violencia: A New History of Spain, and the Max Cámara series of crime novels. He is a publisher, broadcaster, award-winning photographer, a board member of The Scheherazade Foundation, and is married to the Flamenco dancer Salud.

Jason's book list on Spain

Jason Webster Why did Jason love this book?

Hemingway (who might have fully ‘got’ Spain if he had been less obsessed with ‘being Hemingway’) once described Madrid as ‘the centre of the world’. Jules Stewart is a former reporter who knows the city like the back of his hand. In this book he provides a perfect guide for travellers (even of the armchair variety) around what is one of the most vibrant European capitals. From Dalí’s favourite café to the place where Cervantes drew his last breath, it brings the history of the place alive like nothing else.

By Jules Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madrid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hemingway called Madrid 'the most Spanish of all cities' and the 'centre of the world'; it was a place that drew him back again and again. But he wasn't the only writer to have been inspired by this proud city which fizzes with energy and is so infused with art and literature. From the Cafe Gijon, a popular hang-out of Lorca, Dali and Bunuel, and the Bar Chicote, Hemingway's preferred watering hole and a popular haunt for bohemian Madrid during the Civil War, to the Hotel Florida where John Dos Passos and Antoine de Saint Exupery used to stay, to…


Book cover of Forgotten Places: Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War

Jason Webster Author Of Why Spain Matters: The Story of the Land that Shaped the Western World

From my list on Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason Webster is the international best-selling author of fifteen books on Spain, including Duende, Sacred Sierra, The Spy with 29 Names, Violencia: A New History of Spain, and the Max Cámara series of crime novels. He is a publisher, broadcaster, award-winning photographer, a board member of The Scheherazade Foundation, and is married to the Flamenco dancer Salud.

Jason's book list on Spain

Jason Webster Why did Jason love this book?

Another book which brings the history of a city to life. For years, Nick Lloyd has been leading highly informative guided walks around Barcelona sites associated with the Spanish Civil War, and now he has compiled much of his vast knowledge on the subject in this excellent book. Packed with fascinating details and anecdotes, this is pretty much the last word on the subject.

By Nick Lloyd, Nick Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forgotten Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a guide to Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War, beginning in the 19th century with the conditions and movements which led to the social revolution of 1936, and ending with the fall of the city on 26 January 1939 when Franco's tanks drove down the Diagonal and set about destroying everything the Republic and the revolutionaries had built. Stories from the aftermath of the war, the exile and the Franco regime are also included. In addition with dealing with the more obvious issues such as anarchism, the Spanish Republic, Catalonia, George Orwell, the aerial bombing, and the May…


Book cover of The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

Hussein Fancy Author Of The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon

From my list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hussein Fancy is a Professor of History at Yale University where he teaches medieval history with a particular focus on medieval Spain and North Africa. His research, writing, and teaching focus on the entwined histories of not only Jews, Christians, and Muslims but also Latin and Arabic in the Middle Ages. He has traveled and lived extensively in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Hussein's book list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain

Hussein Fancy Why did Hussein love this book?

If there’s only one that I could recommend, it’s this brilliant, beautiful, and vexing book by María Rosa Menocal, Sterling Professor at Yale University. In a compelling and artful manner, Menocal tells the story of medieval Spain from the arrival of the first Umayyad rulers to Cervantes. Beyond being a useful introduction to the fascinating history, Menocal makes the argument that a culture of tolerance existed in medieval Spain, one that transcended religious and ethnic differences. The principal engine of this culture, she suggests, was the Arabic language. Menocal’s book has received as much praise as criticism, a testament to its enduring power and the contentious quality of medieval Spain.

By María Rosa Menocal,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ornament of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rich and thriving culture where literature, science and religious tolerance flourished for 700 years is the subject of this enthralling history of medieval Spain.

Living side by side in the Andalusian kingdoms, the 'peoples of the book' produced statesmen, poets and philosophers who influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, giving it the first translations of Plato and Aristotle, love songs and secular poetry plus remarkable feats of architecture and technology. This evocative account explores the lost history whose legacy and lessons have a powerful resonance in today's world.


Book cover of Medieval Iberia, Second Edition: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources

Hussein Fancy Author Of The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon

From my list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hussein Fancy is a Professor of History at Yale University where he teaches medieval history with a particular focus on medieval Spain and North Africa. His research, writing, and teaching focus on the entwined histories of not only Jews, Christians, and Muslims but also Latin and Arabic in the Middle Ages. He has traveled and lived extensively in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Hussein's book list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain

Hussein Fancy Why did Hussein love this book?

I have used this collection of translated primary sources for over a decade to teach students. It covers the whole period of medieval Spain, from the arrival of Muslim conquerors in 711 to the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, and allows one to confront for themselves the paradoxes of coexistence, collaboration, and violence that characterized this place and period. A thoughtful introduction precedes each document.

By Olivia Remie Constable (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Medieval Iberia, Second Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For some historians, medieval Iberian society was one marked by peaceful coexistence and cross-cultural fertilization; others have sketched a harsher picture of Muslims and Christians engaged in an ongoing contest for political, religious, and economic advantage culminating in the fall of Muslim Granada and the expulsion of the Jews in the late fifteenth century. The reality that emerges in Medieval Iberia is more nuanced than either of these scenarios can comprehend. Now in an expanded, second edition, this monumental collection offers unparalleled access to the multicultural complexity of the lands that would become modern Portugal and Spain.
The documents collected…


Book cover of Cantares Gallegos

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

To really understand Galicia I feel one needs to read some of the evocative Galician poets. Galicia is a land of poets and of writers, and the Galician language has been associated with poetry since the middle ages. Rosalia de Castro was known as ‘Galicia’s nightingale’ by her biographer Failde, and she loved her homeland with a real passion. This passion shines through in her works, none more so than Cantares Gallegas. Her poems are simply told tales of love and loss, of her beloved country and of her people, which evoke all the senses. Rosalia de Castro died in 1885 but her words are still quoted with passion by Galegos today. I was unable to find an English translation of Cantares Gallegas but if you can read Castro’s works in the original language, then it will give a far greater understanding of this unique land in which I…

By Rosalia de Castro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cantares Gallegos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Escrito en gallego, este libro marca con paso fuerte la literatura de un pueblo. Los Cantares gallegos arrancan de la imitación y de la glosa, entroncando con los viejos poemas de lírica galaico-portuguesa medieval, para cumplir un objetivo concreto: cantar a Galicia, sus paisajes y tierras, sus rías y romerías, sus foliadas y costumbres, sus antiguas tradiciones y sus mitos campesinos.


Book cover of The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492

Hussein Fancy Author Of The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon

From my list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hussein Fancy is a Professor of History at Yale University where he teaches medieval history with a particular focus on medieval Spain and North Africa. His research, writing, and teaching focus on the entwined histories of not only Jews, Christians, and Muslims but also Latin and Arabic in the Middle Ages. He has traveled and lived extensively in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Hussein's book list on capturing the paradoxes of medieval Spain

Hussein Fancy Why did Hussein love this book?

Among the wonders of medieval Spain is the appearance of the first Hebrew secular poetry since Biblical times. In this masterful and unparalleled set of translations by Peter Cole, we witness the profound, pious, chauvinistic, and indeed, sensual traditions of secular poetry over centuries. A fusion of Arabic and Hebrew traditions, in and of themselves, these poems stand as a metaphor for the Jewish community itself as well as its dynamism and endurance under Muslim and then, Christian rule. 

By Peter Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dream of the Poem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hebrew culture experienced a renewal in medieval Spain that produced what is arguably the most powerful body of Jewish poetry written since the Bible. Fusing elements of East and West, Arabic and Hebrew, and the particular and the universal, this verse embodies an extraordinary sensuality and intense faith that transcend the limits of language, place, and time. Peter Cole's translations reveal this remarkable poetic world to English readers in all of its richness, humor, grace, gravity, and wisdom. The Dream of the Poem traces the arc of the entire period, presenting some four hundred poems by fifty-four poets, and including…


Book cover of A Woman Unknown: Voices from a Spanish Life

Alice Leccese Powers Author Of Spain in Mind

From my list on ex-pat life in Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the written word and effective communication. My articles and reviews have been published in major newspapers and magazines and for two decades I taught writing on the university level. Travel writing is a subset of my experience as editor of the best-selling In Mind literary anthologies and editor and writer for more than a dozen guidebooks. In addition, I have been “first reader” and editor for prospective authors and shepherded several books to publication, the most recent Red Clay Suzie by first-time novelist Jeffrey Lofton (publication January 2023). 

Alice's book list on ex-pat life in Spain

Alice Leccese Powers Why did Alice love this book?

I love to read books about women travelers whose lives take an unusual path. Lucia Graves is the daughter of poet Robert Graves and his second wife. Her parents moved to Majorca after World War II, and their daughter—like many ex-pats—had to bridge the cultures between the land of her birth, England, and the land of her heart, Spain.

She was raised in a Bohemian household but educated in the strict Catholic schools of Franco’s Spain. Her book A Woman Unknown explores the sense of dislocation and disorientation of her bifurcated life. “I found myself creating an imaginary land where I spent much of my time.”

By Lucia Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Woman Unknown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lucia Graves, daughter of the poet Robert Graves and his wife Beryl, grew up in the beautiful village of Deia on the island of Majorca. Neither Spanish nor Catholic by birth, she nevertheless absorbed the different traditions of Spain and felt the full impact of Franco's dictatorship through the experience of her education. Lucia found herself continually bridging the gaps between Catalan, Spanish and English, as she picked up the patterns and nuances that contain the essence of each culture.

Portraying her life as a child watching the hills lit up by bonfires on Good Friday, or, years later, walking…


Book cover of Reinhart Wolf: Castillos

Frédéric Chaubin Author Of Stone Age: Ancient Castles of Europe

From my list on making a modern book about ancient castles.

Why am I passionate about this?

For more than twenty years I was the Editor in Chief of the French magazine Citizen K. I’ve been dedicating myself to more personal projects. I’m keen on connecting words and pictures. Fond about Architecture and History I did after long investigations in the former Soviet Union, a book dedicated to the late Soviet Architecture. CCCP was published in 2011 by Taschen. Through my text and photographs I featured in it a set of extraordinary and ignored buildings. Luckily, this achievement having met with success, it brought me to a new photographic project. With Stone Age, published in 2021, I gathered through 400 pages more than 200 primitive castles selected all around Europe.

Frédéric's book list on making a modern book about ancient castles

Frédéric Chaubin Why did Frédéric love this book?

I had already included some Spanish castles in my project when I heard about the Reinhard Wolf book and discovered his unsettling pictures. This German artist had photographed the same castles half a century before me, using the same analogic films and the same traditional view cameras, composing frames that I had reproduced without knowing his work. It seems that buildings, like human beings, have a good profile which a photographer cannot miss. The other surprise came from the unexpected feeling that my photographs had been shot prior to Reinhart Wolf’s. Because the castles had meantime been restored, their walls being refreshed, the course of time seemed reversed: they appeared in an earlier condition through my camera than photographed 50 years before, when partly ruined. Having in mind that photography is much about time and traces, the discovery was puzzling. By chance the scope of my personal project was not…

By F. Chueca Goitia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reinhart Wolf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Poison

Kitty Zeldis Author Of The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights

From my list on historical novels that feature bad-ass women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a girl growing up in the 1960s, I loved books that were set in the past—Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn were among my favorites. But those books weren’t historical fiction because they were written back then. So discovering that I could set my own books in the past was a thrill. I love evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of the past. And I especially love describing what my characters wear. Vintage clothes are my passion and being able to incorporate that love into my work is an ongoing delight.

Kitty's book list on historical novels that feature bad-ass women

Kitty Zeldis Why did Kitty love this book?

Set in 17th-century Spain, this one follows the lives of two very different women: one the daughter of a poor silk grower in love with a priest, and the other a pampered princess married to a king who just happens to be impotent.

Although the two barely connect, Harrison plays them off against each other; both are exploited and misused not only by the men around them but by the entire system that’s been stacked against them from the start.

Harrison’s writing is vivid, dense, and flat-out gorgeous; she skews dark but believe me, it’s worth the ride.

By Kathryn Harrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poison as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in gorgeous prose that has the sheen of silk, Kathryn Harrison's POISON vividly reminds us of the persistence of desire and the sorcery of dreams.

Francisca de Luarac, the daughter of a poor Spanish silk grower, is a dreamer of fabulous dreams. Marie Louise de Bourbon, the niece of Louis XIV, dances in slippers of fine Spanish silk in the French Court of the Sun King and imagines her own enchanted future. Born on the same day—in an age when superstition, repression, and the Inquisition reign—the lives of these two young women unfold in tandem, barely touching. Each hoards…


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