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Title: 1936 Superb, Original Manuscript Diary Hand Written by a College Age American Woman on a Detailed Tour of Spain As the Country Is About to Explode Into CIVIL War
Description: Spain Portugal Iberia, 1936. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. Ill.: /. Manuscript, On offer is an interesting travel journal written in the opening days of the Spanish Civil War. The journal measures 7 inches by 4.5 inches and contains 200 pages. It is 63% complete. The hardcover volume is in very good condition. All pages are intact and the handwriting is quite legible. The author of the journal is unknown. In June of 1936, she travelled with two other women visit Spain. Unbeknownst to her, The Spanish Civil War would erupt in a matter of weeks. Context suggests that the author and her friend Mary are college students and that they are accompanied by a female staff member of their college. The journal is a detailed description of life in both Spain and Portugal at this time. She and her companions are very interested in many of the classic sights and locations that attract tourists. Of special interest are locations associated with the Catholic Church. "We were called early this A.M as we were in Santander .. Presently Miss Wood came in from the college and we did some errands, had luncheon with the Langorias and then did some more errands. At 7:30, Miss Wood, Mary and I went to the Coliseum to see Argentinita and her troupe - her sister, the gypsy, the pianist, the guitarist. Spanish dances with the castinets. Such lovely costumes. The program was excellent.. In the afternoon we went to the college formally a summer palace." [July 4]. La Argentina was a stage name of a famous Spanish dancer born in Argentina Antonia Mercé y Luque, who created a neoclassical style of Spanish dance and was called "Flamenco Pavlova". That was one of her last performances - on July 19th she died of heart failure. From Gijon, they travelled east to Pamplona where they experienced part of Pamplona's famous Fiesta de San Fermin with its equally famous running of the bulls: "The fiesta consisted of concerts in the afternoon, bull fights and dancing in the streets with fireworks in the evening. We watched the crowd going to the bull fight - a regular procession headed by a band, many people snake dancing along the way.." [July 8]. Heading south, they visit Madrid and explore that beautiful city. Visiting the nearby El Escorial palace, she has a long and detailed description of the palace and some of its history. "Madrid, Spain. The Puerta del Sol is the largest plaza in Madrid we went to the little street of Calle de Cervetes and at No. 15 saw the inscription which is dedicated to Lope de Vega. The streets of Madrid are full of Civil Guards with their queer hats turned up in the back police caring guns & soldiers. One is pestered continually by the street vendors & the sellers of lottery tickets as well by beggars" [July 13, 1936]; "..In Toledo, they visited the museum dedicated to El Greco and the impressive Sinagoa del Transito, founded in the mid-1300's and the impressive Alcazar - soon to be the scene of ferocious fighting in Spain's looming civil war. "We left at 6:12 this morning for Lisbon. We had intended to stop at the little old town of Cuidad Rodrigo but on account of the news or lack of news of the trouble in Madrid, we were advised to go to Lisbon directly.." [July 19]. Although unplanned for, she writes a very good description of Lisbon as they stay there. "This morning we went to the American Legation where we were told the situation in Spain was such that it would be impossible for us to go to Spain at present. The American Consul at Vigo could not leave there to come to Lisbon.." [July 23]. After several such attempts, they finally gave up and booked tickets for home from Lisbon: ".. We have given up hope of getting to Spain and have made a tentative reservation on the Vulcania of the Cosulich Line sailing from Lisbon.." [July 27]. After spending several days exploring in and around Lisbon, they sailed for the United States and arrived home August 17th. Here are more snippets: "June 24, 1936: At Sea in the Atlantic Very stormy and rough most people sick few in the dining room. One or two ladies besides ourselves. At our table is a Mrs. Wood of Scranton who is going to Santander to study (Miss Wood is Katherine Wood, a Spanish teacher from Scranton Central High School who sailed for Spain to study at the University of Santander), a Mrs. Lorre with three young daughters and a Dana Abrcrey who is taking a child, Gloria Sile, to her father who has a consular position in Spain. Two men who had been at the table disappeared Most of the people speak Spanish. There seem to be few English speaking on the boat"; "July 30, 1936. Vigo, Spain Reached Vigo during night 8:30 Mrs. Langoria, her three daughters, Mary & I got in the launch and went ashore. Vigo is a very pretty little seaport town we got an automobile to drive to Santiago Compostella. The drive was most interesting we passed many women bearing huge burdens on their heads, full baskets, pails, all kinds of burdens. One woman carried two mattresses and a wooden frame on her head. Frequently they did not hold the basket or package but walked erect & rapidly. We saw public washing places with groups of women washing clothes and at every stream women thumping clothes on the stones and every place clothes spread out. Today we saw ox carts 2 oxen as a rule market places, vineyards on the hillside and olive and vineyards like long arbors. We saw the majority of the women and children dressed in black some were barefoot some were sandals. Some had handkerchiefs on their heads some were bareheaded but none wore hats. We went to the dock a little after seven we found the place crowded with people & were told there was a strike on our ship & its sister ship the "Christobal Colon" which was also in the harbor for several hours we waited while rumors went back and forth but about 10:30 we were allowed to be taken to the ship although the ship could not sail at midnight as scheduled. I bought Cecila a doll at Carumua"; "July 3, 1936: The ship did not sail at all during the night today all kinds of rumors were going round. The ship was full of officers - soldiers policemen, Boat loads of men came and went but not a passenger who wanted to land at Caruma was permitted to leave the ship. It was said a committee was in touch with headquarters at Madrid & until they consented both ships had to remain. The CC had just started a voyage to Havana. During the afternoon a boat of stewards came from the CC to our ship"; "July 4, 1936: Santander, Spain. We were called early this am as we were in Santander. After going through the customs went with the Longorias to the hotel Royalty not far from the ship"; "August 7, 1936: Portugal Tried to find out something about our boat today not very successful. Met the American Consul General of Lisbon. Met the Vice Consul of Malaga at the consular office. He had driven here from Malaga on a short vacation and could not get back. Could hear nothing about affairs in Malaga. The Spanish ship companies wired to Barcelona about the Manuel Armus". This is a very good description of the people and places that she saw while in Spain and Portugal. The descriptions are well-written and a reader can feel the life in these streets through her pages. A historian would find this journal an excellent reference to life immediately preceding the Spanish Civil War. Good +.

Keywords: Keywords: History of, 20th Century, 1930s; Europe; Spain; Portugal; Lisbon; Spanish CIVIL War; Running of the Bulls; El Escorial; Sinagoga Del Transito; Alcazar; El Greco; Ss Vulcania; Cosulich Line; Americans in Spain in 1930s; Sea Travel in 1930s; Ameri

Price: US$ 6855.99 Seller: M. Benjamin Katz, Fine Books/Rare Manuscripts
- Book number: 0008185

See more books from our catalog: 20th Century Diary

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