A Traveller's Companion to MadridBook - 2005
Founded by the Moors, the Spanish capital only rose to prominence in the 16th century, when Philip II chose it as a place from which to manage his empire - and it took a further two centuries to become the grandly aristocratic city we see today. Hugh Thomas, best known for his authoritative history of the Spanish Civil War, The Conquest of Mexico and Rivers of Gold, has chosen from diaries, letters, memoirs and novels ranging across five centuries of Madrid's history. The anthology brilliantly evokes the drama and personalities of the past with eye-witness accounts and commentaries from both visitors and inhabitants. These include Beaumarchais, Beckford, Luis Bunuel, Alexandre Dumas, Goya, Victor Hugo, Hemingway, Napoleon, and scores of others. Bullfights are viewed in the 17th century by the great historian the Earl of Clarendon, the Duke of Wellington walks in the shady Paseo del Prado in 1812, in more recent times Salvador Dali plays a surrealist joke on a staid barman at the Ritz. There are glimpses of Rubens in the Alcazar, Manet at the Prado, generals and anarchists in the Puerta del Sol, and Casanova and Trotsky in prison. A richly satisfying mixture that provides both an introduction to the city and an essence of the spirit of place. Book jacket.
Publisher: Northampton, Mass. : Interlink, 2005, c1988.
Branch Call Number: 946. 41 TRA
Characteristics: xxiii, 422 p.,  p. of plates : ill., map, ports.
Alternative Title: Madrid