The Clapton Press was set up with the primary aim of publishing books relating to Spain and the Anglo-Spanish relationship in the broadest sense. Our first project was a new ebook and paperback edition of Boadilla, Esmond Romilly’s memoir of his experiences fighting in defence of Madrid in the early days of the International Brigades, as the Spanish Civil War became entrenched. Boadilla had been out of print since 1972.
The series continues with Spanish Portrait by Elizabeth Lake, the pen name of Inez Pearn, a semi-autobiographical novel of the author’s experiences in San Sebastián in 1934, where she fell in love with an artist, an affair which resumed in Madrid in the spring of 1936. Her plans to return to Spain in the summer were swept away by the catastrophic events of July the same year. Spanish Portrait had been out of print since 1942.
In 1934 Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell retired to Málaga for “a peaceful old age” after a distinguished career as a zoologist and founder of Whipsnade Zoo. Then came the rebellion of 1936. While most other British residents fled to Gibraltar, Sir Peter stayed put in order to protect his house and servants. He ended up sheltering enemies of both sides, including the writer Arthur Koestler, whom Franco’s chief propagandist had vowed to “shoot like a dog”. My House in Málaga is his memoir.
Frank G. Tinker Jr was a freelance US pilot who signed up with the Republican forces in Spain because he didn’t like Mussolini. Once over in Spain, Tinker chalked up the largest number of acknowledged enemy kills. In their free time he and his colleagues roamed the bars and hotels of Madrid in search of champagne and a hot bath, meeting such characters as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Hale. Some Still Live is his account of those experiences.
We also like poetry.