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. Boadilla has been out of print in the UK since 1974.
The series continues with Spanish Portrait by Elizabeth Lake, the pen name of Inez Madge (née Pearn), which was first published in 1941. This is a semi-autobiographical novel of the author’s experiences teaching English in San Sebastián in 1934, where she fell in love with an artist, an affair which resumed in Madrid in the spring of 1936 where she was researching her doctoral thesis on Góngora. The strong appeal of the novel is her eye-witness account of the social unrest in both cities during those years of the bienio negro. The author returned to Oxford to complete her thesis and her plans to return to Spain in the summer were of course swept away by the catastrophic events of July. She went on to write five novels. Along the way she married the poet Stephen Spender and subsequently the sociologist Charles Madge This new edition includes an afterword by her daughter, Vicky Randall. Spanish Portrait has been out of print since 1942.