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ISBN 159048231X

The Bible in Spain, George Borrow - Once upon a time, The Bible in Spain was as famous as The Da Vinci Code is today. Within weeks of its publication, it became one of the greatest bestsellers of the 19th century. England bought thousands of copies. American pirate editions alone ran into 20,000 copies each. It was translated into every important European tongue and was read avidly by men like William Thackeray, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and everybody who was anybody in that age of taste and sophistication.
Despite its outmoded title, The Bible in Spain is not a religious book but a tale of pure adventure. It tells the exploits of the brilliant polyglot George Borrow, who was sent to Madrid in 1835 to sell Spanish language Bibles. The country was at civil war; the Church objected strongly to translated scripture; the roads were infested by bandits, beggars and outcasts. Yet Borrow would not be stopped by any of it. To the consternation of the gentle English parsons who employed him, he soon turned his sleepy mission into a veritable crusade against ignorance, corruption, sabotage and the fervent opposition of priests and prelates. Several times it landed him in jail. He was nearly killed, by accident, assault or execution, as he rode on horseback all over the Peninsula to peddle his forbidden books. He hid with peasants, travelled with smugglers, found a hospitable shelter in the caves of Spanish Gypsies. At the same time Borrow was dealing with Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, high aristocrats and famous academics.
Out of this unlikely mixture of incidents, he later welded The Bible in Spain – a book packed with raw emotion, great adventure and unique insight, which reveals the heart of Spain as it was during the political perils of the 1830s.

For more information, please go to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.co.uk, or visit the George Borrow page on Classic Travel Books.


ISBN 1590481291


Bridle Roads of Spain, George Cayley -  Think of the words “forgotten classic,” then look at this book.

For resting under the words “Bridles Road of Spain” is the most beautifully written equestrian travel account of the 19th century. Even in that age of bold and prolific Long Rider authors, no other work enjoyed this book’s unique mixture of dashing exploits and enchanted writing. For this was no mere “boy’s own adventure.” Rather, it was the keen-eyed memoir of a mounted poet, whose unique journey recorded a beloved country and then passed into literary oblivion itself.

Oh, to be twenty-five, young and in love. For that was what George Cayley was, when he set out in 1852 to ride across one of the most romantic countries in the world. Accompanied by a fellow wandering spirit, the young Englishmen donned the dashing clothes of caballeros, bought two fiery steeds called the Moor and the Cid, then never looked back.

Travellers seldom realize they are witnessing the passing of an age. Yet having just arrived from England, with its enthusiastic embrace of the mechanical marvels of the Victorian age, Cayley appreciated and wrote about the still-tranquil life he discovered in Spain.

A student of the classics, he wrote movingly about the landscape before the intrusion of the motorized age. The young horseman saw no trains, just lonely mountains. He found few good roads, but plenty of sun-swept villages. He enjoyed scanty fare, but mixed with jubilant people. His journey took him through a slumbering Espana, from brooding Gibraltar, past glorious Granada, round Ronda, across Segovia and on to the peaks of the Pyrenees.

Thus, it was while he was intoxicated with the magic of Spain, that Cayley stumbled on the birthplace of that country’s greatest literary work of art. At the village of Argamasilla del Alba, the young writer made a pilgrimage to the cellar where “Don Quixote” had been written. It was there, in a damp, underground cell that Miguel Cervantes had penned the magnificent novel, while draped in chains.

The words Cayley wrote about Cervantes and “Don Quixote” serve as a signpost to us today.

“Rare heart, bright focus of human sympathies, which in one book couldst stuff so much good-fellowship, and wit, and truth, that all thy fellow-men, generation after generation, must go on reading it for ever and a day; while every one of the millions who read, feels towards thee as a personal friend,” the Englishman wrote about the Spaniard.

Those kind words, written to enshrine the deeds of his fellow author, now ring true when applied to Cayley’s masterpiece of equestrian travel literature.

Click here to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information or Barnes & Noble.

Round and About Spain - The Second World War had recently concluded, and life in England was still full of hardship and rationing. Is it any wonder then that when a visiting Spanish professor urged Aimé to explore his sunny country, the ever-wandering Tschiffely jumped at the chance? The only problem was that the English government prohibited any of its citizens to depart overseas with more than £50. Such a paltry amount would barely allow Tschiffely to stay alive and it immediately ruled out the idea of him buying and riding horses in search of Spanish adventure. Yet just when things look as bleak as a foggy London morning, a British motorcycle company offered to donate one of their new machines to the stranded traveller. The resulting trip saw Tschiffely joyfully roaming five thousand miles during a four month exploration through the country he labelled "the land of the unexpected." From Finisterre to Gibraltar, the fluent Spanish speaking Aimé chatted to everyone including bootblacks, beggars and Benedictines. In a country which abounds in poetry and history he tracked down Phoenician legends, then danced till dawn with Gypsies. Someone once said, if Spain didn't exist, someone would have to invent it. Likewise we would feel the need to invent Aimé Tschiffely, that literary angel of the Long Rider's world, who wandered across the globe and through our hearts.
For more information, please visit Barnes & Noble or amazon.co.uk.

ISBN 1590481240


Spanish Pilgrimage, Robin Hanbury-Tenison - This is the delightful story of Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tenison’s journey to Santiago de Compostela in 1989.

For a thousand years a long, hot and dangerous journey over the mountains, the dusty plains and the rich countryside of Spain has led millions of Christian pilgrims to the great cathedral of St. James at Compostela.  The story is as old as medieval history and the route is still alive with the churches, monasteries and shrines built by the faithful.

Readers of Robin Hanbury-Tenison’s other bestselling travel books will be delighted to hear that once again he and his wife Louella went to Santiago de Compostela in a traditional way – riding on white horses over long-forgotten tracks.  It was a family pilgrimage as their four-year-old son, Merlin, went with them.  In the process they discovered more about the people and the country than any conventional traveller would learn.  Their adventures are vividly and entertainingly recounted in this delightful and highly readable book.

Through their journey Robin came to experience a true ‘green pilgrimage,’ an ecological equivalent of the search for religious faith in medieval man.  His fascinating book draws together conclusions from a lifetime of exploration.
Click here to go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

ISBN 1590480546


Riding the Milky Way, Babette Gallard - On the warm spring day when Babette Gallard and Paul Chinn decided to ride 1600 kilometres along the St James Way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, he had never ridden before, she had only ever ridden under duress, their horses had yet to be found and the dog was a passing whim they were trying to forget.

“Riding the Milky Way” tells the story of their journey, but it is not about hardships and heroes. In fact it was a motley and uninspiring crew that left Le Puy en Velay, France, in July 2005. The humans, broke, burnt-out and vaguely hoping that early retirement would save their health and sanity. The horses, plucked off the equine scrap heap in France and still grappling with their new roles as something between mount and mountain goat. The dog, doing his best to understand why he was there. But seventy-five days later humans, horses and dog reached their destination, having overcome all the challenges, and most importantly having found they had become an inseparable team.

This inspiring, amusing and informative book sweeps the reader along with each member as he or she, horse or dog, progresses step by step towards a goal that has become more than just Santiago. At the same time, the author is uncompromisingly honest about the mistakes they made. She not only explains how to avoid the pitfalls they encountered but also tells the reader what is expected of riders making this ancient pilgrimage.

Packed with sketches and photographs, this book will inspire even the most timid traveller, while also giving practical guidance for someone wanting to do a similar journey. Finally, it is much more than just a good read. It is an excellent, if sometimes irreverent, guide to the legendary St James Way.

Go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble


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