In this series we are working with leading historians to bring to print previously unpublished memoirs by individuals who engaged in various ways to defend the Spanish Republic, while Europe’s democracies turned a blind eye. We have also republished a cluster of amazing memoirs written in English by people who had direct experience of Spain during the 1930s, all of which had been long since out of print, and other related historical research.
|The Fighter Fell in Love: A Spanish Civil War Memoir by James R Jump, with a foreword by Paul Preston and a preface by Jack Jones
Aged twenty-one, James R Jump gave up his job as a journalist and went to Spain to fight against Franco and his fascist supporters. Leaving his fiancée in England, he joined the legendary International Brigades and was mentioned in despatches for bravery during the Battle of the Ebro. This is his previously unpublished memoir
|Struggle for the Spanish Soul & Spain in the Post-War World by Arturo & Ilsa Barea, with a foreword by William Chislettt
Struggle for the Spanish Soul, an essay on contemporary Spain in which Arturo asserted the imperative for the democracies of Europe to unseat Franco, was published in 1941. Spain in the Post-War World, published by the Fabian Society in 1945, made similar arguments, which also fell on deaf ears. Together, the two essays present a fascinating insight into why the Spanish Civil War was lost and a horrific picture of the early years of the dictatorship, which was to endure until Franco’s death in 1975.
|Never More Alive: Inside the Spanish Republic by Kate Mangan, with a preface by Paul Preston
Artist, model and one of the rare beauties of the 1920s, Kate Mangan was also a keen observer of character with a sharp nib on her pen. She went out to Spain in 1936 in search of her lover, Jan Kurzke, a German refugee who had joined the International Brigade to fight in defence of the Spanish Republic. She ended up working for the Republic’s Press & Censorship office, travelling around Spain, visiting the battlefront and meeting a host of characters including W.H. Auden, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and many others. When Jan was seriously injured she visited him in hospital, helped him across the border into France and left him with friends in Paris so she could return to her job in Valencia. This is her previously unpublished memoir, with a preface by Paul Preston.
| The Good Comrade: Memoirs of an International Brigader by Jan Kurzke, with an introduction by Richard Baxell
Jan Kurzke was a left-wing artist who fled Nazi Germany in the early 1930s and tramped round the south of Spain, witnessing first-hand the poverty of the rural population. When the civil war broke out in 1936, Jan went back and joined the International Brigade. Many of his fellow volunteers died in the savage battles on the outskirts of Madrid and Jan himself was seriously wounded at Boadilla, nearly losing his leg. For several months, he was shunted between various military hospitals in Spain, eventually making his way across the border into France with the help of his English girlfriend, Kate Mangan, who was working in the Spanish Republic’s international press office in Valencia.
|British Women and the Spanish Civil War by Angela Jackson
Why would young British women risk their lives by volunteering to serve in medical units during Spain’s bitter civil war? Why would so many women here in Britain dedicate their energies to campaigns and committees to help people suffering in Spain when worthy causes could be found closer to hand? The answers to these and other intriguing questions can be found in the life stories of the remarkable women who feature in this revised and updated paperback edition of Angela Jackson’s classic study.
|Firing a Shot for Freedom, The Memoirs of Frida Stewart with a Foreword and Afterword by Angela Jackson
Frida Stewart was a graduate of the Royal College of Music who became involved with Aid for Spain during the Civil War and ended up driving an ambulance out to Murcia. She went on to Madrid where she worked for the Republican Press Office, visiting the front and “firing a shot for freedom”. She was later in France when the Nazis invaded and was imprisoned in an internment camp, from which she escaped with a friend. This is her story, described by Paul Preston as “an utterly riveting and deeply moving memoir .”
|Boadilla by Esmond Romilly
The nephew that Winston Churchill disowned describes his experiences fighting with the International Brigade in the Battle of Madrid. Written on his honeymoon in St. Jean de Luz after he eloped with Jessica Mitford.
|My House in Málaga by Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell
Sir Peter retired to Málaga in 1934 at the age of 70, after an eminent career in zoology. Two years later the Spanish Civil War erupted. While most ex-pats fled to Gibraltar, Sir Peter stayed on to protect his house and servants from the fascist insurgents. He ended up in prison for sheltering Arthur Koestler from Franco’s rabid head of propaganda, who had threatened to “shoot him like a dog”.
| Spanish Portrait by Elizabeth Lake
A brutally honest, semi-autobiographical novel set in San Sebastián and Madrid between 1934 and 1936, portraying a frantic love affair against a background of apprehension and confusion as Spain drifted inexorably towards civil war. “A remarkable first novel revealing a remorseless interest in emotional truth” – Elizabeth Bowen
| Some Still Live by F.G. Tinker Jr
Tinker was a US pilot who signed up with the Republican forces because he didn’t like Mussolini. He was also attracted by the prospect of adventure and a generous pay cheque. Once over in Spain, Tinker chalked up the largest number of acknowledged enemy kills, shooting down a total of 8 Junkers, Fiats and Messerschmitts. In their free time he roamed the bars and hotels of Madrid in search of champagne and a hot bath, meeting characters such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Hale Merriman. This is his memoir.
|The Yocci Well by Juana Manuela Gorriti
A love story, ghost story and gothic horror rolled into one, the action in The Yocci Well takes place in two parallel periods spanning twenty years, contrasting Argentina’s War of Independence with the savagery of the civil wars that followed. This brilliant novella is now available in English for the first time.
|Our Native Land by Juana Manuela Gorriti
Juana Manuela Gorriti’s last major work, published in 1889, relates a physical journey through northern Argentina as well as a voyage back through her memories of the people and events she had known and experienced along the way. This fascinating insight into her life and times is now available in English for the first time.