In the Footsteps of George Borrow: A Journey Through Spain and Portugal

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Signal Books, 2007 - Authors, English - 326 pages
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George Borrow - brilliant linguist, expert on gypsy culture and author of Wild Wales (1862) - remains an enigmatic character whose fiction and travel writing mix autobiography and invention. From 1835 to 1840, he worked as an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, attempting to distribute Protestant Testaments in fiercely Catholic Spain. The outcome of this controversial and risky enterprise is The Bible in Spain, an account of his wanderings published in 1843. In the Footsteps of George Borrow brings to life the scenery and culture of Spain as well as the complex personality of the man who described it in the 1830s. In the course of his travels, Guy Arnold considers Borrow's ambiguous religious beliefs, his avowed taste for the social lowlife and his mysterious liaison with a widow from Norfolk. He also compares modern Spain with that of Borrow's time and finds - civil war and brigandage apart - that much remains surprisingly the same.

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