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The BritishSpanish Society magazine | Issue 242 | Spring-Summer 2016


The BritishSpanish Society’s history and future



ienvenido to this special centenary issue of La Revista. The BritishSpanish Society is 100 years old this year, and to commemorate this we delve into its history for a look at the fascinating moments that have led the organisation through two world wars, years of political and economic drama, staying strong in its bridge-building mission. We look at how cultural relations between the UK and Spain have evolved and the ever-increasing status of the English and Spanish languages worldwide. The centuries-old alliance between the monarchies of Britain and Spain is explored on page 26 to show the role they have played in international diplomacy and strengthening cultural ties. Of course, we couldn’t have this issue without a nod to another important anniversary: 400 years since the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Is there a chance that, being contemporaries, they could have influenced each other in any way? Find out on page 17. Besides that we have our regular arts and culture coverage, from a review of the brilliant guitarrist Vicente Amigo to interviews with the people living at the most southern tip of the world, Cape Horn. The magazine has its own history to celebrate this year. The idea of creating a journal for the Society was put forward as early as 1919, but due to a lack of funds and various complications, it was only in 1951 that the Quarterley Journal was established, edited by F.J.Hesketh Williams. In its later incarnation, the Quarterley Review moved away from being a promotional tool to have the broader cultural focus it still has today. Most recently Adrian Wright edited the Review for 23 years before Jimmy Burns took over as editor in 2010. Whether you are a member of the BritishSpanish Society or have opened these pages for the first time, I hope you enjoy the issue.

Amy Bell

La Revista Executive Editor: Jimmy Burns Marañón Editor: Amy Bell Deputy Editor: Laura Gran Scholarships: Marian Jiménez-Riesco (Trustee) Corporate Supporters/Advertising: Patricia María Paya Cuenca Development Secretary: María Soriano Casado Events: Carmen Young (Trustee), David Hurst Membership, Finance, and Website Secretary: Virginia Cosano, Elisa Ramírez Pérez Secretariat: Alvaro Cepero, Alvar de la Viuda Design: Amy Bell Published by the BritishSpanish Society Honorary President: H.E. Federico Trillo-Figueroa, Spanish Ambassador Honorary Vice-President: Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain Chairman: Jimmy Burns Marañón Vice-Chairman: Sir Stephen Wright Patrons: Lady Brennan, Duke of Wellington, Dame Denise Holt, Lady Parker, Lady Lindsay, Baroness Hooper, John Scanlan, Randolph Churchill, Carmen Araoz de Urquijo Trustees: Carmen Young, Christopher Nason, José Ivars (Corporates) Juan Reig Mascarell (Treasurer), Scott Young, Marian Riesco Other members of the Executive Council: Fernando Villalonga (ex-officio), Paul Pickering, Scott Young, Julio Crespo MacLennan (ex-officio), Javier Fernández Hidalgo, Miguel Fernández-Longoria (Scholarships), Sarah Galea, Miles Johnson, Roberto Weeden-Sanz, Morlin Ellis (ex officio), Eva Sierra, Silvia Montes, Eduardo Oliver

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Contact us: For all editorial contributions or to comment on an article you have read in La Revista, please write to us at: To enquire about advertising opportunities (including classified adverts) please contact: BritishSpanish

@BritishSpanish @LaRevistaUK



Jimmy Burns Marañón Author, journalist and Chairman of the BritishSpanish Society.

Luis Martínez del Campo Senior researcher at the University of Essex. Author of Cultural Diplomacy: A Hundred Years of the BritishSpanish Society.

Dominic Begg President of TESOL-Spain in the 1980s and taught at the ESADE business school for 27 years. A former Spanish rugby champion with Arquitectura Madrid, he has presented a twice-weekly radio programme since 1993.

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Event reviews

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Reflections and Resolutions: Chairman’s note

A look at the new centenary microsite Holding up the mirror: 100 years of BritishSpanish relations

The Scholarship Programme


Nicolás Bas Martín Professor of the Department of the History of Science and Documentation, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, University of Valencia.

Brean Hammond

Emeritus Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Nottingham. He has written books and articles on literary topics from Shakespeare to Byron. His edition of Shakespeare’s ‘lost’ play Double Falsehood was published in 2010.

Carolina González Delgado Journalist with a Master’s degree in Corporation Development.

Miles Johnson Global Investment Editor at the Financial Times. He reported on the financial crisis in Spain as Madrid Correspondent from 2011-2014.

Jules Stewart

Journalist and author. He specialises in military history, although his latest work is Gotham Rising, a history of New York City in the 1930s, to be published in October. He lived in Madrid for 20 years.

Sir Ciarán Devane President of the British Council. Previously he was Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support from 2007 to 2014.

Marian Jiménez-Riesco Graham Watts Dance writer and critic. Member of the Critics' Circle, Chairman of the Dance Section and National Dance Awards Committee.

CEO and Founder of Istorikos, a cultural heritage company. Marian has a PhD in History and is a trustee of the BritishSpanish Society.


El turismo, una historia de éxito compartido


Shakespeare and Cervantes, a 400th anniversary


“A pleasant conceited comedie” Love’s Labour’s Lost in Navarre


Asi nos vieron: libros españoles en Londres entre los siglos XVI y XIX


La ciencia en la epoca de Shakespeare y Cervantes,1547-1616


Royal Relations: British and Spanish monarchs and international diplomacy

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Lengua viva: language learning today


La Candidata, Luz entre sombras. Entrevista con Elena Moya

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Finis Terrae: Cape Horn

Elisa Ramírez Pérez

Membership, finance and website secretary at the BritishSpanish Society.

Charles Powell Francisco González Redondo Professor of History of Science at the Complutense University in Madrid and founding member of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK/ CERU).

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Director of the Elcano Royal Institute, an international relations think-tank. He is also Professor of Spanish Contemporary History at CEU San Pablo in Madrid, and Vice President of the Fundación Transición Española.

Laura Gran Journalist and Deputy Editor of La Revista.

Centenary special: Celebrating 100 years of the BritishSpanish Society

Jorge Edwards, escritor, periodista y diplomático chileno

Entrevista con Elvira Lindo Review: Vicente Amigo at Sadler’s Wells Librería: a new kind of bookshop Ibiza - an island idyll away from the crowds

Many thanks to the Spain Tourism Board for their support of this special issue of La Revista.

The opinions expressed throughout this issue represent those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the BritishSpanish Society or those of their supporters. Enrique Ruiz de Lera Director of the Spain Tourism Board in the UK.

The BritishSpanish Society is a registered charity: 1080250

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By Paul Pickering On the evening of January 22 I accompanied a group of Society members on a walk through the Victoria and Albert Museum's recently opened European Galleries. The displays cover the continent from Portugal in the west to Russia in the east, and from Spain in the south up to Sweden.The chronology takes us from the early 17th to the early 19th centuries. As this is a period when Europe was involved with Africa, Asia and South America, some of the objects evince a fascinating cultural interplay. What to choose? The start of the 'walk' is dominated by Bernini's energetic Neptune and Triton, so for a while I concentrated on the Baroque. The overblown rhetoric of this style is such a contrast with what we discovered at the end: the chic, cool furnishings and objects in the Empire style. In between: a stunning needlepoint hanging showing Louis XIV posing as Jupiter. We also saw some Spanish polychrome sculpture. For me the best part of the evening was the drinks and nibbles after the tour. I had the impression that members really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and get to know each other in the intimacy of a small group. Very rococo (and yes, we covered some rococo as well).


Sotheby´s kindly invited members of the Society to a private preview and tour on December 14 before their auction of 19th Century European Paintings. Led by expert guides Marta Enrile and Richard Lowkes, members learnt about the artists featured, including Spanish artists Joaquín Soroya, Hermenegildo Angla-Camarasa and Joaquim Mir. After afternoon tea in the Damien Hirst Butterfly Room, Ms Enrile talked about the paintings, such as Joaquim Mir’s Riverbank in the Forest and the huge El Mas Blau, and Joaquin Sorolla’s Playa de Valencia and his exquisite and resplendent Oleanders. Mr Lowkes introduced the group to four important works by Finnish artist Helen Schjerbeck (1862 – 1946), whose work has attracted public attention. Of her Lemons in Bowl it has been written that “the serenity of her still lifes reflects the isolation and solitude through which the artist found the essential: the concentration of mind, contemplation and simplicity of expression”.


By David Hurst A full house was enthralled by the quality and variety of Spanish dancers last November as the Society held a unique gala event at The Place in Euston Road, home to London Contemporary Dance. Curated by members and avowed dance lovers, Graham Watts and Fabiana Jaramillo (right of photo), the evening featured world premieres from the Baltic Dance Theatre of Gdansk, visiting London for the first time, and from acclaimed choreographer Avatar Ayuso from Mallorca. DeNada Dance Theatre presented an intriguing duet by Carlos Pons Guerra from Gran Canaria and a moving solo was performed by Estela Merlos from Barcelona. Spanish dancers of the Royal Ballet, Laura Morera from Madrid and Ricardo Cervera from Malaga, Itziar Mendizabal from Hondarribia in the Basque Country, appeared by kind permission of the director Kevin O’Hare. Guests at the drinks reception and during the intervals were entertained by the Bordoneo Duo playing flamenco and Mexican music and, with artistic director of the English National Ballet Tamara Rojo honouring us as Gala Patron, this was a magnificent and high profile event. 4  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

20 Society members were given a private and exclusive tour of the BADA Fair, the annual showcase for around 100 of Britain’s leading dealers in fine art, design and antiques. Guests were shown a selection of intriguing and beautiful objects and met some of the UK’s foremost dealers. With a diverse offering ranging from contemporary art and modern sculpture, to art-deco jewellery and 18th century furniture, the BADA Fair attracts experienced collectors and first-time buyers from around the world.

CHRISTMAS PARTY The BritishSpanish Society Christmas party was hosted at the Cervantes Institute’s former headquarters in Eton Square, close to the Spanish Embassy. As in previous years, the venue was packed with members of the Society but also with some new faces keen to network and build new relationships. The event started with a speech by the Spanish Ambassador H.E. Federico Trillo-Figueroa. During the evening there was a raffle full of amazing prizes, a choir singing Christmas carols, and of course, plenty of tapas and wine. We would like to thank our sponsors their generosity and involvement in the event. By Our social correspondent

ISTORIKOS has had the pleasure to develop a website to celebrate the Centenary of BritishSpanish Society.


SOCIETY’S HISTORY PUBLISHED The Society celebrated the launch of Cultural Diplomacy: A Hundred Years of the BritishSpanish Society, the history written by Luis Martínez del Campo, by organising two fascinating events which were attended by a high number of Society members and friends: a press launch at Hispania Restaurant with representation from a wide variety of British and Spanish media, and a conference and Q&A session with the author of the book and with a panel at Canning House. It was a lively discussion on Anglo-Spanish history and politics.


This website is in line with design trends planned for 2016, the "parallax scrolling" where all cont is available with a simple gesture of vertically "scroll". Thus, the visitor has a more enjoya navigation experience and can move nimbly through the different sections that make up the w With its own structure, this site offers a visual journey, a journey through the history of the B where visitors will find different opportunities to interact with the web in an original, organic fun way.

On the other hand, the web's centennial has been developed with what we call "responsive adaptive design, a technique that makes that the web is displayed correctly in most dev (computers, tablets and smartphones). With this technology, the web behaves like a fluid automatically adapts to the size of the device that each user are using at this moment, changing dimensions of its different elements (text, images, videos ...). On this web, we can find interesting content in a great variety of formats: 

An interactive timeline. In this TimeLine we have highlighted the most significant ev trough the history of the Society. It is an interactive, intuitive and entertaining method allows us to know more deeply and delve into the history not only of the Soc BritishSpanish but also of bilateral relations between Spain and the United Kingdom

Videos gallery to learn more in detail about the organization of the BSS, the scholar programme and its contributions. Regarding to the videos, we chose to use a w background to do two things. One, to create a totally uncluttered, clean environment for many contributors we filmed and two, to give a unified look to all the videos that allows viewer to focus solely on the individual speakers and what they are talking about.



Saturday 21 May 1.00pm - 5.00pm; Bar & Co from 6.00pm. 5-a-side indoor football tournament and BBQ / Awards Presentation at Bar & Co. PowerLeague Vauxahall and Bar & Co moored at Temple Pier. Tickets: £200 per team, includes BBQ and one drink. Non-players welcome to watch/support and enjoy BBQ and one drink at £10 per head. Information and entries via

RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW Thursday 26 May Entry at 5.30pm Tickets available for £55 to BritishSpanish Society members. Only 40 places available, please book early. Tickets include a glass of Pimms and are allocated on a first come and first paid basis. Please contact:

Events in June, further details to follow online at The Annual BSS summer party will be held at the Spanish Embassy, sponsored by Agrovillarta, Hispania and Mahou. London - through Spanish Eyes A family bike ride and picnic to seek out famous Spanish sites and landmarks in central London. Followed by a picnic in a London park (venue TBC). Entry FREE but bring your own picnic. Information on the website.


September 22-25 A unique private trip to Madrid offering a thrilling mix of history, art and architecture with delicious food. Specially curated and guided tours of the city’s museums with guest lecturer Marta Hamilton, who will bring to life the dramatic evolution of the city, from the great Hapsburg Empire and Bourbon dynasty to the political tensions which led to the Civil War and Picasso’s Guernica. Includes visits to the Palacio Real, el Monasterio De Las Descalzas Reales, El Escorial and a VIP cocktail party at the British Embassy. Ticket price: £1,450 p.p. Rooms at Hotel Emperador in the heart of old Madrid. Single Room Supplement: £140. Price without flights: £1,300 p.p. Only 22 places available. Please contact:


new, interactive microsite within the BritishSpanish Society’s website celebrates 100 years of the Society’s history. Marian JiménezRiesco highlights the top features. The cultural heritage company ISTORIKOS has had the pleasure of developing a website to celebrate the centenary of the BritishSpanish Society. By offering a visual journey through the history of the organisation it allows visitors to interact with the webpages in a fun, original way. Here are the key features: Interactive timeline highlighting the most significant events through the history of the Society and bilateral relations between Spain and the UK. Video gallery showing more detail about the organisation of the Society, the scholarship programme and the organisation’s wider contribution. About us – more information about the BritishSpanish Society, such as events or La Revista. Image gallery – an archive memory of the institution, featuring the men and women who played a key role in its history. Testimonials about how the Society has impacted or changed the lives of former scholarship award-winners. We hope you will visit the website soon! Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  5


HOLDING UP THE MIRROR Politics, Europe and a complex shared history: the BritishSpanish Society invited a distinguished panel to discuss 100 years of cultural relations between the UK and Spain. By Miles Johnson.


n English history books Sir Francis Drake is considered a buccaneering sea captain, to the Spaniards he is frequently referred to less flatteringly as un pirata. Spain’s largest department store is called El Corte Inglés, while there are more Britons currently living in Spain than the populations of Nottingham and Newcastle. The cultures of Spain and Britain have long been richly intertwined, with both countries regarding each other with deeply rooted affection, as well as casting the occasional suspicious glance. In celebration of its centenary the BritishSpanish Society held a debate on Britain and Spain’s many centuries of cultural exchange, hearing the views of a panel of writers, historians, journalists and politicians on the themes that have shaped Anglo-Spanish relations over time. The Hispanist and author Professor Paul Preston recalled how, when asked by Spaniards why he had devoted his life to the study of their country, he told them how he was “hit by an arrow” following his first visit to Spain in his youth. Chris Bryant, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, explained to the audience at Canning House how between the ages of seven and 12 he had grown up in Spain, and how this had instilled in him a life-long love of the country. Jimmy Burns, chairman of the BritishSpanish Society and the moderator of the panel, steered a wide-ranging discussion that touched on topics as diverse as how the two countries’ religious differences shaped their outlooks, and the differences between their press and political systems. In a lively debate on the differences and similarities between Spain and the United Kingdom the discussion quickly moved into the arena of contemporary politics, such as Britain’s forthcoming referendum on its membership of the European Union and the inconclusive results of the Spanish general election. The issue of Europe, the European Union and both countries’ perceptions of their places in the world was a recurring theme in the discussions. Both the British and Spanish journalists on the panels noted how in Spain there is a greater focus on how foreign media write about the country, with this tendency becoming more pronounced during the financial crisis. Britain on the other hand has tended to rarely display awareness of how it is viewed abroad. While Spain has remained strongly in favour of its membership of the European Union throughout a painful economic crisis parts of Britain have long been deeply sceptical of the benefits of being a part of the European club. John Carlin, the writer and journalist, recalled a recent article he had written for El País on the lack of an equivalent word in Spanish for “compromise”, and how this reflected a more polarised and confrontational political culture in Spain than in the UK. Ana Romero, the Spanish journalist, argued that a spate of political scandals had illustrated the contrasting ways in which British and Spanish politicians reacted to controversy, with very few Spanish politicians having stepped down. Professor Preston said that the tone of debate on Spanish politics and history had become increasingly fractious, with discussions more likely to result in exchanges of abuse than in the past. He said that this greater degree of hostility was serving to stifle open debate on controversial issues in 20th century Spanish history and to make it harder for a more stable reconciliation on subjects such as the Franco dictatorship to occur.

Mr Carlin noted how, for all of the frequent British criticism of political corruption in Spain, there was a sense of what he believed was an underlying northern European jealousy at many aspects of Spanish life. Although he lives between Spain and London, he said he would be far more likely to retire in Spain than in the UK. At the same time the Spanish have retained an admiration for British institutions and traditions. This was the unifying thread that ran through a lively panel debate: throughout times of conflict, crisis and Armadas the mutual fascination and admiration between Britain and Spain remains undimmed.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy have jointly called for structural reform of the European Union. Rajoy has said that a Brexit would be “unthinkable”. Image ©Spanish Government


Professor Paul Preston, Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics Luis G.Martinez del Campo, author of Cultural Diplomacy: A Hundred Years of history of the British-Spanish Society; Ana Romero, author and journalist; senior columnist at El Español Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons John Carlin, Anglo-Spanish author and senior writer at El Pais Miles Johnson, Financial Times journalist; FT Madrid Correspondent 2011-2014 Jimmy Burns, author, journalist and Chairman of the BritishSpanish Society

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A note from Jimmy Burns Marañón, Chairman of the BritishSpanish Society.


he centenary of the BritishSpanish Society marks a milestone in the history of the charity, a time both to reflect on and celebrate its achievements, and also to look forward to the future. This issue of La Revista, so beautifully designed and wellwritten, in itself represents the Society at its best, honouring the organisation’s past as well as highlighting the creativity of its current activities and the evolving nature of its mission. As one of our former becarios Luis Martinez del Campo so brilliantly describes in his history Cultural Diplomacy (see pg.13) the Society owes its existence to the legacy of two of the world’s great literary icons. It was founded in 1916

on the 300th anniversary of the deaths of Cervantes and Shakespeare. Its founders were a group of British academics, students and businessmen with an interest in Spanish culture. In the midst of the human tragedy of the First World War, these unofficial ambassadors of cultural dialogue and engagement, saw it as a means of extending a hand of friendship not only towards Spain but to the whole of the Spanish-speaking world. Much has changed since then, with an ever-shifting political and diplomatic environment affecting the relations between Britain and Spain over the years, but the core values of the Society have remained constant. The Society’s objectives are to promote friendship and understanding between the British and the Spanish through knowledge of each other’s customs, language, institutions, history and way of life. It is a non-political organisation and membership is open to anyone with an interest in Spain and the UK and their cultural interaction. The Society’s most important inheritance of all is that the Spanish and English languages are now the most widely spoken languages in the world (see more on pg.29). The challenge going forward is not only to celebrate culture through a variety of events, but also to continue to be able to fund its scholarship programme for Spanish and UK students as part of developing a worthwhile space for investigation and creativity in science and the arts, contributing to the common good in the 21st century. I would like to take this opportunity to thank individual and corporate members for their continuing loyalty to the Society and our secretaries and volunteers in the Executive Council for their commitment to the cause. Keep with us.

Leaving a Legacy “The object of the society will be to promote more intimate relations, both intellectual and commercial, by offering hospitality and opportunities of social intercourse to Spanish-speaking visitor in the British Isles; by fostering in Great Britain and Ireland the study of Spanish language, literature, art, and history; and by assisting British students to enter Spanish lands.” J. Mackay, Edward Hilliard et alter ‘Anglo-Spanish Sympathy. A new Society founded’, The Times, 15 September 1916, P.9.

As the BritishSpanish Society celebrates its 100th Anniversary it is a good time to think about how the organisation will continue to fulfil its important role in British-Spanish relations in the coming years. The Society became a UK registered charity in 2001 and, as part of this, one of our biggest success stories of the last few years has been the scholarship programme (see page opposite). It has provided critical financial support for British and Spanish students to complete their doctoral studies. The programme is at the core of the Society and our aim is to further expand it. To achieve those goals – besides the voluntary time and support that its members, executive council and board of trustees commit – the Society needs sound financial planning. This is achieved through membership fees, corporate supporters and events organised throughout the year. As any other charity, we continue to work on finding long term funding. Legacies are one of the most important sources of long term income for charities in the UK.

They provide funds that can be used through a multi-year period or that can be put aside to fund an specific activity for a number of years.

How to leave a legacy

Anyone can leave money or assets to a charity in their will in the form of a legacy. The impact of this goes beyond helping a charity to achieve its objectives; it also has financial benefits for your friends and family. By leaving a gift to a charity, its value will be deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is calculated. Legacies can be a fixed sum of money, a percentage of the value of the estate or specific individual possessions. Your solicitor can advise you on how to reflect that you wish to leave money or assets to a charity in your will. It’s as straightforward as including a simple sentence. Thank you for your support.



Education has been central to the BritishSpanish Society’s mission since its inception, demonstrated more recently in its support for students from the UK and Spain in valuable research projects. By Elisa Ramírez.


s a registered charity, the BritishSpanish Society’s core and constitutional objective is to educate the people of the UK and Spain about each other and to promote cultural understanding between both countries. As such, the scholarship programme has been a means to cristalise this guiding principle. Since the programme was created nine years ago, the Society has proudly awarded more than fifty postgraduate students (41 scholarships and 17 bursaries) in support of their projects and studies with the help of dedicated corporate supporters. The majority of the scholarship recipients are PhD candidates, with a few of them still at Master’s level, and the majority are Spanish nationals. Their studies focus mainly on medicine (11), history (10), engineering (8), literature and linguistics (9), politics and economics (6), music (6) with minor representation from other disciplines such as architecture and urban planning, physics, sociology and anthropology, film studies and marine archaeology. For the ninth time and coinciding with our centenary year, we are currently immersed in the selection of 2016 scholarships award recipients. In line with previous years, the Grants Committee received over 100 applications for the six scholarships on offer for the academic year 2015-2016, generously provided once again by our long-lasting Principal Corporate Supporters: BBVA, Ferrovial Aeropuertos, Santander Universities, Telefónica and brand new member Mahou-San Miguel. Amongst this year’s applicants, there is an even distribution between MA and PhD British and Spanish students who are seeking financial support to face ever growing educational costs in order to further their studies. Thanks to the contribution of our supporters and the work of the scholars, the Society has witnessed many success stories. One such case is María Ángeles Jiménez Riesco, a 2009 Cuatrecasas awardee then undertaking a PhD in history and urban planning who has moved on to setting up her own company specialising in historical and cultural heritage management. In addition to this, and directly linked to her scholarship, Ms Jiménez Riesco became highly involved in the Society, which eventually led to her acquiring a more active role within the functioning and development of the charity by becoming a Trustee. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of the microsite on our website devoted to the Society’s centenary, outlined on pg.5.

Luis Martínez del Campo greatly benefited from the scholarship programme as well. Having been awarded a bursary in 2012 for his postdoctoral historical research on AngloSpanish relations, Mr Martínez del Campo has recently seen the book resulting from his investigation being published by Liverpool University Press: Cultural Diplomacy: One Hundred Years of History of the BritishSpanish Society. Similarly, Nicole Crespo O’Donoghue, a BBVA 2013 awardwinner, was able to finish her Master’s in violin studies and performance and has worked for different orchestras, such as Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (BSO), EYPO and London Concertante. She has also participated in numerous concerts and performed for both Spanish and British Royals. In addition to this, and due to her love for chamber music, she co-founded the chamber groups Arensky String Quartet and Salieri Piano Trio. Finally, the 2013 Telefónica award-recipient Rodrigo García González, upon finalising his MSc in engineering and design, has been involved in various innovative and creative projects such as the transformation of a regular bike and the creation of animated soccer balls, vanishing toilet paper cardboard rolls, invisible mops, instant houses and, most remarkably, edible water containers. In order to reduce the staggering amount of plastic bottles which are produced yearly and, consequently, the pollution their production and recycling entails, Mr García González created Ooho – an edible blob-like water container made from natural ingredients extracted from seaweed which addresses the need of transporting and distributing water anywhere at any time in an eco-friendly way. These are only some of the many successful accounts from our awardees which highlight the importance of the scholarship programme and the social benefits directly drawn from it. It is only by continuing this crucial mission that we will ensure that education and collaboration between the UK and Spain remain a constant, and it is in this spirit that we are constantly seeking partnership with British and Spanish corporations in order to expand our network of supporters and, consequently, our impact on the future of proficient postgraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. Images: James Stout is presented with a scholarship certificate by Santander at the BritishSpanish Society’s scholarship awards ceremony.

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NEW BOOK OFFER For BritishSpanish Society Members Franciscus: Papa de la Promesa (Updated Spanish Edition) signed by author

“Una excelente biografía, un libro de envergadura, con creces el mejor de la procesión de obras publicadas a toda prisa desde la carismática irrupción de Bergoglio en el escenario mundial.” The Telegraph

Alabada por la crítica, esta es una biografía inaudita y reveladora de Jorge Bergolio; de su complejidad, de sus claroscuros, de su posicionamiento moral y enorme influencia social y política. El libro aborda aspectos polémicos de la Argentina de Bergoglio, como su postura en los años de la "guerra sucia", su enfrentamiento al kirschnerismo o la influencia de Perón en su vida. Amena y emocionante, esta narración es fruto de una investigación exhaustiva del autor, Jimmy Burns Marañón, que fue corresponsal en Buenos Aires durante años.

Retail Price: € 20,50 Special offer €18,00 (excluding post & packaging) To order email

ISBN: 978-84-16541-30-0 Categorías: Encuadernación: Tapa blanda | Páginas: 574 | Formato 15x23cm. | P.V.P. 20,50 €

EL TURISMO Una historia de éxito compartido entre España y el Reino Unido, nos explica Enrique Ruiz de Lera y Ignacio Valle Muñoz.


l turismo, tal y como lo conocemos hoy en día, es un fenómeno del siglo XX, y más concretamente de su segunda mitad. Sin embargo, es también un fenómeno que hunde sus raíces en el antiguo deseo de viajar, explorar y conocer nuevas culturas y lugares, y en esto los británicos fueron pioneros. Prueba de ello es el hecho de que la primera guía sobre España fuese publicada por un inglés en fecha tan temprana como el año 1779. Fruto de su viaje por la península ibérica durante los años 1775 y 1776, Henry Swinburne – considerado, con razón, como el “descubridor” de la Alhambra para el público británico – publicó dos obras, Travels through Spain y Picturesque tour through Spain, contó con sobrias descripciones en inglés y francés y un alto precio de salida, de alrededor de trece libras, lo que le convertía en un libro de lujo para la época. El siglo XIX fue la época del viajero romántico, descubridor de culturas y amante de lo auténtico. Como no podía ser de otro modo de interés se materializaría pronto en una nueva actividad económica también de la mano de un británico:

TURISMO Thomas Cook, empresario conocido por ser la primera persona en crear un viaje organizado. En 1841 fletó un tren con destino a un congreso anti-alcohol en Loughborough. A pesar de que ese primer viaje organizado no le proporcionó demasiado éxito económico, Cook vio en esa actividad un posible beneficio futuro, por lo que años más tarde creó Thomas Cook & Son, considerada la primera agencia de viajes de la historia. Con ella nació el precedente del actual paquete turístico, que no es otra cosa que la democratización del viaje romántico del siglo XIX. El deseo de viajar al extranjero es inherente a las islas británicas. El Reino Unido es, junto con Japón, uno de los países del mundo con mayor intensidad viajera. Según la Office for National Statistics (ONS), en 2014 los británicos hicieron un total de 60 millones de viajes al extranjero. El deseo de viajar de los británicos a zonas más cálidas, unido a las características de la oferta turística de España – país privilegiado como pocos por su posición geográfica, sus costas, su clima, cultura, biodiversidad, etc. – han forjado una historia de éxito en las relaciones entre España y el Reino Unido cuyas cifras en términos de llegadas no dejan de sorprendernos. En 2015, 15,6 millones de británicos viajaron a España. Con todo, esta impactante cifra es inferior a la alcanzada en 2007, el año récord de llegadas, cuando 16,3 millones de británicos visitaron España. Por otra parte, el gasto de los británicos que hicieron en el país en 2015 superó los 14.000 millones de euros (11.000 millones de libras aproximadamente). Desde los años 50 el turismo internacional ha seguido en España un patrón de crecimiento espectacular y superior a la media a nivel internacional, apoyado por la extensión de los derechos de los trabajadores en Europa a unas vacaciones retribuidas y por la popularización del principal producto turístico español: el sol y playa. A este patrón de crecimiento ha contribuido de forma muy importante el dinamismo del mercado emisor británico, que actualmente representa el 23 por ciento del total de los turistas internacionales que llegaron a España en 2015 (Fuente FRONTUR). A su vez, España es el destino de más del 20 por ciento de los viajes internacionales de los británicos, según datos de la ONS. En definitiva, el Reino Unido es el principal mercado emisor de turistas internacionales hacia España y España es el principal destino elegido por los británicos para sus vacaciones. El mercado turístico británico es, además, el más desarrollado de Europa y el que marca las tendencias que luego se extenderán al continente. Por ello, cuando se analiza la evolución del turismo británico hacia España se está analizando un modelo de éxito compartido entre ambos países. A esta historia de éxito han contribuido de manera eficaz diversos factores que tienen que ver con la cultura y las costumbres de ambos pueblos: los británicos desarrollaron en gran medida la “turoperación” de masas, con la creación de grandes turoperadores verticalmente integrados, que controlan sus propias aerolíneas y hoteles y venden a través de redes de agencias propias. Este modelo alcanzó un alto grado de desarrollo en las décadas de los ochenta y los noventa y se encuentra actualmente en un proceso de reconversión derivado de los grandes cambios que ha traído el nuevo siglo: la revolución de Internet y las aerolíneas de bajo coste. Esta familiaridad y cercanía entre ambos países ha supuesto también el hecho de que los británicos se encuentren entre los turistas europeos más fieles a España. Más de un 82 por ciento de los británicos que visita España ya han estado anteriormente, y más de un 40 por ciento han estado siete o más veces. Contribuye además el hecho de que España sea su segundo destino preferido para emigrar y, 12  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

“los británicos se encuentren entre los turistas europeos más fieles a España”

como consecuencia, los británicos sean la primera nacionalidad por número de viviendas de titularidad extranjera en el país. Por otra parte, España, desde los años sesenta, se ha venido modernizando económica, social y políticamente. También ha desarrollado inmejorables infraestructuras de transporte, así como una importante planta hotelera y oferta complementaria. Las administraciones españolas han jugado un papel esencial como facilitadoras de la actividad turística y como promotoras de los viajes hacia España a través de las campañas de publicidad institucional. Al Spain is different, un eslogan ya legendario en la historia de la publicidad en España, le siguieron, ya desde los años 80, con el conocido logo de Miró, siete grandes campañas de publicidad a las que se destinaron importantes partidas de presupuesto: Spain. Everything under the sun (19841990), Passion for life (1991-1994), Spain By (1995-1997), Bravo Spain (1998-2001), Spain marks (2002-2003), Smile! You are in Spain (2004-2009), I need Spain (2010 - hasta la actualidad). Este esfuerzo en promoción ha acompañado e impulsado el desarrollo de la industria turística en ambos países. En resumen, durante las pasadas décadas hemos sido testigos de la creación y desarrollo, entre el Reino Unido y España, de la que probablemente sea la mayor industria turística entre dos países. El antiguo viaje romántico de las élites se ha democratizado gracias al paquete turístico. Aunque el futuro de esta industria, llena de intereses compartidos, no es ajeno a las grandes incertidumbres del momento, en lo económico, en lo social y en lo político, todo hace pensar que esta historia de éxito tiene su continuidad futura asegurada.

Enrique Ruiz de Lera es consejero de Turismo en Londres y Ignacio Valle Muñoz es consejero adjunto de Turismo en Londres. Imagenes: página anterior: cartel vintage de la Spain Tourism Board. Esta página: una foto de la Costa del Sol (Thomas Cook)



From its origins in foreign policy to the educational, social and cultural focus of the present day, the BritishSpanish Society has a rich and varied history. In commemoration of the Society’s centenary, historian Luis Martínez del Campo takes us through the key moments from 1916 to 2016.



n the early 20th century, culture became a key component of international relations. Many countries realised how useful cultural propaganda campaigns were for diplomacy. France and the UK founded educational corporations to contribute to their foreign policies: l’Institut Français (1922) and the British Council (1934). The Anglo-Spanish Society (now the BritishSpanish Society) is an interesting example of how those pioneer institutions became involved in foreign affairs. In 1916, the third centenary of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes’ deaths, which were both in 1616, was commemorated as “another happy tie” between Spain and England. The governments of both countries scheduled events and implemented different projects to pay homage to “the two great literary glories”. As part of these celebrations, the Anglo-Spanish Society was founded to strengthen mutual understanding between the people of both nations. John Macdonald Mackay (1878-1961), Emeritus Professor at the University of Liverpool, became the principal promoter of the association. He implemented the project at the University of Oxford, where he could take advantage of the many contacts he had from his student years.


he next stage of the process for founding the association at a national level took place in London. On November 15, 1916, a meeting was held at the St. Ermin’s Hotel of Westminster. Key figures from leading British universities attended and a preliminary committee was appointed. King’s College London was well represented with two professors, Ronald Burrows (1867–1920) and Israel Gollancz (1863–1930), serving as Chairman and Honorary Secretary respectively. These two scholars sought businessmen who could support the Society. In April 1917 they appointed a provisional Executive Committee, chaired by Lord Latymer (1852–1923), a well-known Hispanophile. The creation of the Society coincided with the Great War (1914–1918) and this conflict determined the purpose of the association. Its short term purpose was to garner the Spanish-speaking countries for the allied cause, but the Society also fostered British trade links with Latin America, at a time when the US dominated the Latin-American market. Therefore the association assumed two tasks, an economic one and a political one, in line with the Foreign Office’s policy for the Hispanic World. Although its aims were political and economic, its strategies were based on cultural understanding. This new organisation supported the teaching of Spanish language and culture in Great Britain through its branches in several universities and cities in England and Scotland. For this reason, many scholars and intellectuals (Professor James Fitzmaurice-Kelly, Ramiro de Maeztu, Wil14  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

Images, clockwise from the top of this page: Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure, Ronald Montagu Burrows, Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.

liam Paton Ker…) joined the Society. Moreover, businessmen and bankers participated in the Economic and Social Section of the association, which endeavoured to put British entrepreneurs in contact with Spanish-American diplomats. Informal and formal meetings were held to bring together different agents who were involved in British trade with Spanish-speaking countries. The Chilean diplomat Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure (1878–1941), who was honorary president of the general headquarters of the Society since 1919, was one of the promoters of these gatherings. The Society was established to support British foreign policy during the Great War, but functioned most effectively in peacetime. The end of the conflict brought stability for the institution, which carried on even when its ties with the Foreign Office were cut. The association had already started

CENTENARY to grow, setting up branches in Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool and Glasgow. Most of these regional branches were linked to universities in order to accomplish the Society’s educational mission. For instance, the association contributed to the founding of the King Alfonso XIII Professorship of Spanish Literature, which was established officially at Oxford University in 1927. The Society was restructured during 1924 to 1925, the main purpose being to ensure its stability and continuity. Nevertheless, activity was minimal and the organisation’s branches grew apart from the London headquarters. The decline of the institution came in the late 1920s, particularly during the Great Depression in 1929. The Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Council assumed the functions of the AngloSpanish Society, which reduced its activities in the late 1930s. World War II caused the end, with a dissolution of the Society in 1947. Henry Thomas (1878–1952), a well-known Hispanist and librarian at the British Museum, became the last chairman to hold the post at that time.


n 1950, an Anglo-Spanish League of Friendship was founded, but its dynamic was different from the AngloSpanish Society. It was no longer intimately related to the British Foreign Office, but rather it followed the policy articulated by the Spanish Embassy in London, leaving the subject of Latin America aside. Another important change was the creation of the Quarterly Journal, which was introduced in August 1951. Among the Spaniards who helped to found the League was Mabel Marañón Moya (1918–2008), daughter of the doctor Gregorio Marañón. Although she did not hold a political position, Marañón Moya’s contribution was essential in the creation of this new association. During its first stages, the League faced many financial problems and, under the influence of Spanish diplomacy, its activities were politicised. Everything changed in 1958. In that year the League was rebranded as the Anglo-Spanish Society, but, above all, the association was creating its own socio-cultural space, where members have interacted for decades. John Balfour (1894–1983), a former British Ambassador to Madrid, was appointed chairman. He and other members created a stable administrative framework. In the 1960s membership increased progressively, corporations sponsored the association’s activities and its finances were much more stable. These improvements allowed members to schedule a great number of social events and to promote Spanish culture in London, which became the Society’s field of action in the second half of the 20th century. Without doubt Nan Baxter, honorary secretary of the association from 1956 to 1977, was a key driver of the Society’s success in this period. The end of the dictatorship and the transition to democracy in Spain had a significant impact on the AngloSpanish Society, which was updated to better deliver on its mission. The Society was committed to its educational and social aims, but at the same time it started a legal process which would enable it to become a registered charity, that is, a non-profit organisation with philanthropic goals. In this last period, members pursued exclusively pedagogical and cultural objectives through events, publications and an important scholarship scheme for students, scientists and artists from both Spain and the UK. The association was modernised in many ways, for example, women were progressively involved in leading the organisation. In 2009, Denise Holt became the first woman to hold the Chair position. In addition to this, Jimmy Burns, the current chairman, contributed to the launch of the Society’s new magazine: La Revista, which is now edited by Amy Bell.

Images, from the top of this page: Nan Baxter, Lord Latymer, Israel Gollancz, John Balfour.

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  15

CENTENARY The history of the BritishSpanish Society perfectly exemplifies the importance of cultural elements in foreign affairs and particularly in the evolution of British-Spanish relations throughout the 20th century. The Society has lasted because it has adapted over time. Far from being obsolete, the institution is still in good health after 100 years and hopes to continue in its mission to promote “friendship and understanding between the people of Britain and Spain” for a long time.

Honourable Roll-Call of the BritishSpanish Society The following is a symbolic rather than an exhaustive list of some of the individuals who helped make the Society what it is. By Jimmy Burns Marañón.

Mabel Marañón (1918-2008)

Together with her British husband, the publisher Tom Burns, played an active part on the Society during the post-war years.

John Macdonald Mackay (1878-1961)

Sir Ronald Lindsay (1933-2004)

Ronald Montagu Burrows (1867-1929)

Mercedes and Muir Sutherland (former Treasurer) Now both retired, played active roles in the Society and in supporting welfare of Spanish immigrant community.

Professor of History at the University of Liverpool; Foreign Office; one of the founders of the Society. Principal of King’s College, London, another early member.

Agustin Edwards Mac-Clure (1878-1941)

Anglo-Chilean lawyer, diplomat and businessman – an early financial backer.

Francis F. Urquhart (1868-1934)

One of several Oxford and Cambridge academics who were supporters of the Society.

Lloyds insurance broker, who together with his wife Nicky played active role in the Society during the 1980s and 1990s.

Current patrons of the Society: The Duke of Wellington OBE DL, Dame Denise Holt DCMG, Lady Maria-Belen Parker, Carmen Araoz de Urquijo, Lady Brennan, Lady Lindsay, John Scanlan, Rt Hon Baroness Cooper CMG, Randolph Churchill.

BOOK OFFER Only £12.00 for Members (RRP £14.95) The perfect Christmas gift!   Order your copy now by emailing:    

Retail: Images: Alfonso Merry del Val; Muir Sutherland. Top of page: Mabel Marañón meets General Franco in London to ask for more support for Spanish immigrants in 1966.

Alfonso Merry del Val (1864-1943)

Spanish Ambassador in London at the time of the foundation of the Society.

Sir John ‘Jock’ Balfour (1894–1983)

UK diplomat and chairman of the Society during the 1950s.

Peter Allen (1905-1993)

UK businessman who served as chairman during the early 1970s. His Spanish wife Consuelo was an active member.


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Shakespeare and Cervantes A 400th anniversary

To mark this special anniversary, and in recognition of the fact that 100 years ago this same commemoration sparked the BritishSpanish Society’s foundation, La Revista celebrates the two greatest ambassadors of English and Spanish literature.


Cervantes and Shakespeares were contemporaries, but is there any evidence for mutual influence? The key lies in the Bard’s collaborator John Fletcher, argues Brean Hammond.


t’s been an exciting period for Cervantes and Shakespeare, archaeologically speaking. Cervantes’ bones are now known to repose amongst those recently discovered in one of the niches of the crypt below the Convento de las Monjas Trinitarias Descalzas in Madrid – even if we don’t yet know which bones were actually his. Meanwhile back in Stratford-upon-Avon, the site has been discovered of what the press release jauntily calls Shakespeare’s “kitchen” and “fridge”: the footprint of the cooking and cold storage areas in New Place, the house he purchased as a family home in 1597– even if we don’t yet know how he acquired the cash to buy it. But the bones I’m proposing to speak about in this article are metaphorical: those that can be discerned beneath the surface of the 18th century play Double Falsehood. This curiosity was brought to the Drury Lane management by the budding Shakespeare scholar and pantomime writer Lewis Theobald, who claimed that it was a lost play by the Bard himself. Amidst considerable publicity and excitement, the play had a 10-day run in December 1727, unusually lengthy for the period. But Theobald’s bubble was pricked soon afterwards by the age’s leading poet, Alexander Pope, who suspected that it was a forgery. The play retreated into the dark corner from which it had emerged and wasn’t published in the landmark edition of Shakespeare that Theobald would produce a few years later. In 1780, however, Shakespeare scholars noticed that the plot of Double Falsehood was a version of the Cardenio story that threads through Book 1 of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, although the character names had all been changed. Another discovery in that year made Double Falsehood even more interesting: a set of annual accounts prepared for the Treasurer of the King’s Chamber in 1612, noting that payments had been made to actors in Shakespeare’s troupe for

“Fletcher was a Hispanophile, a fluent Spanish speaker moving in patronage circles whose members had long been interested in Spanish culture.” a play called ‘Cardenno’ or ‘Cardenna’. So there had been a play based on the Cardenio story and it had been performed by Shakespeare’s King’s Men! Although no Cardenio play survives in manuscript or was ever printed, traces of such a literary property do survive into the 18th century, before Double Falsehood itself surfaced. One of them is an entry in the Stationers’ Register in 1653, made by the century’s leading publisher of plays, Humphrey Moseley, where the play is titled “The History of Cardenio, by Mr Fletcher. & Shakespeare”. If the King’s Men had mounted a production in 1612 based on a story from the Quixote, the likelihood is that it would have been written by Shakespeare in collaboration with John Fletcher. By 1612, Shakespeare was nearing the close of his dramatic career and he had been ‘succession planning’. He had found this young writer to take on his responsibilities with the King’s Men. They were already writing together, and two plays that they co-wrote survive – The Two Noble Kinsmen and King Henry VIII. If we think about the writing team of Shakespeare and Fletcher, the idea that they wrote a collaborative play based on a story in Cervantes’ Don Quixote becomes very probable. Fletcher was a Hispanophile, a fluent Spanish speaker moving in patronage circles whose members had long been interested in Spanish culture. If Theobald had from the outset claimed that the play he found was a collaborative piece, written jointly by Shakespeare and Fletcher, it would have commanded much more assent. But Theobald wanted the play Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  17


to be Shakespeare’s alone. He would have seen a joint play as a much less prestigious find, and so would the theatre management. Although the eminent theatre historian Robert Hume has recently said that if Shakespeare could be summoned on a Ouija board, he would call the Double Falsehood discussion “Much Hullabaloo about Practically Nothing”, I think it has real significance. It makes us reconsider the wider possibilities of a relationship between Shakespeare, Fletcher and Cervantes. Literary and filmic fantasies abound that Shakespeare and Cervantes actually met in person. I don’t think so; but they did meet in a Cardenio play. I imagine the scenario like this: Don Quixote is published in Madrid in 1605 and is an immediate international success – so esteemed, indeed, that the Bodleian Library in Oxford acquires a copy almost as soon as it is published even though it doesn’t usually collect contemporary fiction. An Irish Roman Catholic who has lived in Spain and the Spanish Netherlands, Thomas Shelton, begins translating it into English and his transla18  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

tion circulates in manuscript. In 1607, several English plays are published that refer to Quixote, all of them by writers not only known to Shakespeare but actually playwrights who worked with him. Fletcher has read Quixote shortly after its publication. After 1608, as we have seen, he’s looking to start up a new collaboration with William Shakespeare, and he urges him to read at least the Cardenio story either in English or Spanish. But there’s another story nesting inside the Cardenio tale that will become even more compelling and influential, the story of “el curioso impertinente”. It’s a story in which a husband, Anselmo, tests his wife’s virtue by imploring his best friend Lothario to try to seduce her – which he does, successfully. Fletcher himself made immediate use of the story for a play called The Coxcomb that he wrote with his then collaborator Francis Beaumont in 1608. But he did more; he used it to fuel Shakespeare’s renewed interest in the topic of male friendship versus heterosexual love. Very early in his career, Shakespeare had experimented with this topic in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. What happens when two men fall in love with the same woman? What does sexual jealousy do to friendship? Although Shakespeare scholars don’t usually consider Don Quixote as a source, there is a trial of virtue story in the play that Shakespeare wrote around 1609-10, Cymbeline. Why not suppose that his recent encounter with Quixote prompted an interest in both the Cardenio and el curioso impertinente stories that bore fruit in his future playwriting? Certainly, he picked up the love versus friendship storyline again in his late career, providing much more sophisticated treatments of it in Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Two Noble Kinsmen and, I presume, the lost Cardenio. In Cymbeline, Giacomo succeeds in besmirching Innogen’s reputation, but not in seducing her. Shakespeare may have been given a creative nudge, then, by his encounter with Quixote and it may have contributed a storyline to his play Cymbeline. It was certainly the basis for the later Cardenio, written with Fletcher. But what Shakespeare discovered in Quixote may have had more to do with Cervantes’ way of telling stories than with their content. For Don Quixote is tragicomic: all of its key moments are simultaneously pathetically sad and ridiculously comic. They produce a mixed way of regarding human beings as at once divinely inspired and inherently ludicrous, because the ‘hero’ is an obsessed lunatic whose desire is to be nobler, grander, better than the ordinary, often base, creatures who populate his world. Shakespeare’s late plays operate on similar territory. His later plays are more literary, more self-conscious and more mixed in emotional effect than his earlier writing. One label for this is romantic tragicomedy. The point of tragicomedy is for art to shape human affairs so that we get a second chance. In life, we are not often given the opportunity to atone for our serious errors, but art can offer us that chance. Audiences for Shakespeare’s late plays were given the comfort of knowing that human errors, however serious and potentially tragic, would not necessarily realise their worst-case scenarios. Sometimes this is done through divine intervention, or through mystical procedures like statues coming to life. Time’s inexorability, irresistible in tragedy, is resisted in a play such as The Winter’s Tale. Faulty and weak human beings can be given the opportunity, through being brought face to face with their crimes and expressing penitence, to redeem time. It needs a longer argument than I can offer here, but I think that this tragicomic way of apprehending experience was Cervantes’ main gift, via Fletcher, to Shakespeare. Images. Previous page: Shakespeare; Fletcher; Cervantes. This page: ‘The History of Cardenio’ mentioned in the Stationers’ Register in 1653; Second edition of Double Falsehood.

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“A PLEASANT CONCEITED COMEDIE” Special productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost and other plays by Shakespeare will commemorate the anniversary celebrations, starting with Navarre and Lon. By Jules Stewart.

“Navarre would have had the attraction of a distant and exotic place to the Elizabethan theatre-going public”


avarre shall be the wonder of the world!” So proclaimed the King of Navarre in one of William Shakespeare’s early comedies, Love’s Labour’s Lost, first performed in 1597 at the Inns of Court before Elizabeth I. This year on April 24, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, the people of Navarre (and anyone else who wishes to attend) will be treated to a gala stage production of the play in Pamplona’s Baluarte auditorium-cum-exhibition centre. After three centuries of neglect, Love’s Labour’s Lost today stands amongst those Shakespeare plays that can fill houses, thrill audiences and please actors. The plot, as Shakespeare states on the title page of the original folio, revolves around a “A pleasant conceited comedie”. The King of Navarre and his three noble companions take an oath not to give in to the company of women and to devote themselves to three years of study and fasting. The King declares that no woman should come within a mile of the Court. Of course, as Robert Burns recognised 200 years later, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” for the play soon evolves into a comedy of trysts and broken vows. When the princess of France arrives with her female attendants, their pledge is placed under a severe strain. The King chastises the lords for breaking the oath, but it is soon revealed that he himself has fallen in love with the princess. Soon all are smitten and confusion abounds, as each struggles secretly to declare his love in this comedy of deception, desire and mistaken identity. The King of Navarre that Shakespeare characterises in his play and the reason for choosing this particular spot to situate his comedy remain a mystery. One possible candidate is Henry II of Albret. Shakespeare may have been

20  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

inspired by the monarch’s wife, Margarita de Angulema, a patron of the arts and a poet in her own right. Another contender would be a high-profile monarch of the era, the Protestant King Henry III of Navarre, who by converting to Catholicism became Henry IV of France and was said to have pronounced the famous words, “Paris is well worth a Mass”. As for Shakespeare’s choice of location for his play, as in the case of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Navarre would have had the attraction of a distant and exotic place to the Elizabethan theatre-going public. The play is being staged as a joint-venture between Shakespeare’s Globe in London and Madrid’s Fundación Siglo de Oro which, since 2006 has become a reference point for the production of classical theatre. The Fundación was the first theatrical company to put on a work by a nonBritish playwright at the Globe, with the staging this past September of Lope de Vega’s El Castigo Sin Venganza. Theatre groups Teatros del Canal and Pentación Espectáculos are also participating in the co-production with Fundación Baluarte. The gala premiere in Pamplona will be preceded on the previous day by a special filming of scenes from the play at Olite Castle. “We selected this venue because the castle represents one of the finest examples of early 15th century architecture,” says Lacunza. “Olite was one of Europe’s most sumptuous castle-palaces”. This will become part of the Complete Walk being organised by Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Over the weekend of April 23-24, the Globe is planning a gala presentation along the banks of the Thames. The Complete Walk will offer a screening of the Bard’s 37 plays along a two and a half mile route between Westminster and Tower Bridge. This will be a series of specially-made films short films of each of his works. At the heart of each film, some of the world's most outstanding actors will perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, shot in the place hovering in his imagination when he wrote them. Lacunza says there has been a good deal of public interest in the play, with ticket sales expected to fill the 1,036-seat auditorium. He says Baluarte’s parent organisation, Navarra de Infraestructuras de Cultura, Deporte y Ocio (NICDO), has not overlooked the fact that Shakespeare shares an anniversary with Miguel de Cervantes, who died in the same year and on the same date, although with Spain on the Gregorian calendar and England on the Julian calendar, their deaths were actually eleven days apart. The Pamplona Planetarium, a part of the NICDO group, submitted Cervantes’ name to an initiative launched by the International Astronomic Society to name 19 ExoWorlds — 14 stars and 31 exoplanets orbiting them — which were recently discovered. The Spanish proposal for ‘Estrella Cervantes’ was a winner and moreover, four of the most famous of Cervantes’ characters are orbiting around it: Don Quijote, Rocinante, Sancho and Dulcinea are the names of the four planets which orbit this star and constitute a planetary system known as μ Arae.


ASÍ NOS VIERON La British Library organiza una jornada sobre libros españoles en Londres entre los siglos XVI y XIX, una manera de acercarse a la “Imagen” de España en Inglaterra. Por Nicolás Bas Martín.


a identidad de una nación, como ahora la española, tiene mucho que ver con la imagen con la que otros países la han retratado a lo largo de la Historia. Porque la historia no solo implica narrar hechos pasados, sino que permite conocer mejor el presente. En este sentido, España ha tenido que hacer frente a una serie de tópicos y estereotipos que han ido definiendo un carácter que perdura incluso hasta nuestros días. Una buena manera de aproximarnos a esta visión es a través de los libros y de las lecturas españolas que los ciudadanos de Londres hicieron entre los siglos XVI y XIX. Para ello que mejor que descender a la calle, a las librerías, a las subastas y ventas de libros, a los periódicos, a los chapbooks; y, como no, a la intimidad de los hogares, a sus bibliotecas y a sus pensamientos más personales expresados en forma de cartas, que nos permitirán acercarnos con mayor criterio a la imagen que se tenía de España. Evidentemente, y en lo que al siglo XVIII se refiere, la coyuntura política no fue la más favorable para la relación entre España e Inglaterra. Un siglo de conflictos bélicos en Europa y en los territorios de ultramar no fueron el contexto más idóneo para que los ciudadanos ingleses conocieran a sus “enemigos”. Además, los obstáculos lingüísticos, el escaso conocimiento que los ingleses tenían de la lengua española, no favorecían la inmersión. A esto había que añadir los prejuicios que aún existían hacia una España que se consideraba inculta, y donde la Inquisición y el clero 22  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

seguían teniendo un poder incontestable. Todo ello eran argumentos más que suficientes para que nuestro país quedara en la periferia de la Europa moderna y fuera del llamado “Grand Tour”. Aun así en la poblada ciudad de Londres unos pocos libreros, ubicados en la milla de oro del libro, el Strand y Paternoster row, apostaron por dar a conocer una parte de la literatura española. Benjamin White, Fletcher Gyles, Thomas Payne y Samuel Baker cuasi monopolizaron la venta de libros españoles en la capital inglesa. Una realidad que comenzó a cambiar a partir del siglo XIX cuando el Romanticismo difundió una imagen “exótica” de España, que atrajo a numerosos coleccionistas, viajeros y curiosos ingleses. Mientras esto ocurría tanto, algunos españoles eran expulsados por razones políticas de su país, caso del editor y librero valenciano Salvá, que durante casi diez años mantuvo una librería en Londres, en el 124 de Regent Street, convirtiéndose en lugar de encuentro de los liberales españoles y de los grandes bibliófilos ingleses del momento. Hasta entonces, fueron muy escasos los libros españoles que se vendieron en la capital inglesa, la mayoría de ellos traducidos y muy pocos en lengua original. Entre éstos fueron los de los siglos XVI y XVII los que más demanda tuvieron. El Siglo de Oro constituyó para los ingleses la quintaesencia para entender nuestra cultura. Y por encima de todos Cervantes y El Quijote. En este sentido hay un hecho especialmente significativo, a veces no demasiado enfatizado, y es que la primera biografía que se publicó de Cervantes en toda Europa no fue en España sino en Londres. En 1738 los impresores Tonson, a través de Lord Carteret y del embajador de Inglaterra en España, Benjamin Keene, editaron en español la obra cumbre de la literatura hispánica, acompañada de una biografía del genial escritor, a cargo del valenciano Gregorio Mayans. Carteret quiso obsequiar a la reina de Inglaterra con esta edición del Quijote para completar una biblioteca dedicada a libros de humor. Aquel hecho marcó un antes y un después en el conocimiento de la literatura española al otro lado del Canal. Curiosamente, años antes, en 1729, la magnífica biblioteca del maestro de Mayans, Manuel Martí, más conocido como el deán de Alicante, y precursor de la Ilustración valenciana, fue adquirida por el librero londinense David Lyon. Dos episodios que, de un lado, potenciaron la imagen de España en Inglaterra, pero que de otro pusieron de relieve los claroscuros de la Ilustración española, de escaso apoyo al mundo del libro y de indiferencia hacia determinados intelectuales. Un fracaso de la inteligencia en toda

“la primera biografía que se publicó de Cervantes en toda Europa no fue en España sino en Londres”


regla, que explica porqué la imagen de España en Londres quedó reducida a una literatura de entretenimiento, cómica, pastoril y de caballerías, y no a la literatura científica y de conocimiento que se producía en el siglo XVIII. La pretendida modernidad española no fue tal para los ingleses, que vieron en Cervantes, Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Calderón, Mariana, los amadises, lazarillos y demás la modernidad literaria y el espejo sobre el que mirar al pueblo español. Las grandes colecciones inglesas del Dr. Williams Bates, Hans Sloane, el 3rd Earl of Sunderland, George Spencer, los Harley, William Beckford o Richard Heber, ya en el siglo XIX, no hicieron sino certificar esta realidad, al igual que los coffee-houses que inundaban la ciudad, junto a las ventas de libros y subastas, como Christie’s y Sotheby’s, cuyos orígenes se remontan al siglo XVIII. Por no olvidar las cartas, en las que “the Spanish Golden Age” monopolizó aquellas conversaciones por escrito. Lecturas, compraventas y circulación de libros que nos permitirán acercarnos un poco más a la imagen que desde Londres se tenía de la cultura española.

De todo ello, con mayor amplitud y a cargo de destacados especialistas ingleses y españoles hablaremos durante la jornada organizada en la British Library el próximo 13 de mayo bajo el título The Spanish book in London during the 16th to 19th centuries.

Nicolás Bas Martín es coordinador junto a Barry Taylor, de la British Library, de: The Spanish book in London during the 16th to 19th centuries. 13 de mayo. British Library, Conference Centre, Eliot Room. Imagenes: página anterior, Don Quijote y Pancho, (Wikimedia); esta página, etiqueta-sello de la Librería Salvá en Londres, y edición de El Quijote (1738) impresa en Londres por los hermanos Tonson.


LA CIENCIA EN 1547 - 1616 La sociedad de Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) se une a la BritishSpanish Society en la conmemoración del 400 Aniversario de la muerte de Miguel de Cervantes y William Shakespeare, y lo hace desde la perspectiva que le es más propia: aportando un panorama de la ciencia en la época en los que ambos vivieron, 1547-1616. Por Francisco A. González Redondo.


lo largo de 2015 España ha conmemorado con numerosos actos el cuarto centenario de la publicación de la segunda parte del Ingenioso caballero don Quijote de la Mancha. Estas celebraciones han servido a modo de prólogo a una conmemoración mucho más significativa que está protagonizando este año 2016: los 400 años del fallecimiento, con una diferencia de escasos días, de las dos figuras más importantes de la literatura universal, Miguel de Cervantes y William Shakespeare. En este marco no debemos dejar pasar la oportunidad de unir a los numerosos libros, artículos, congresos y conferencias concebidos, prioritariamente, desde el mundo de la literatura y la historia, una breve aproximación al panorama de la ciencia, española y universal, en la época tan singular y apasionante que le tocó vivir a Cervantes (15471616) y a Shakespeare (1564-1616). En efecto, esos años que van de 1547 a 1616 son, ni más ni menos, los de la culminación de la monarquía hispánica como referencia mundial y, con ella, de sus cartógrafos, hidrógrafos, ingenieros, médicos, farmacólogos, historiadores naturales, botánicos, etc. Pero también son los años de la revolución copernicana, es decir, los años en los que se recibe, lee, estudia, difunde, desarrolla… y combate la nueva visión heliocéntrica del cosmos que proporcionó Nicolás Copérnico en 1543 con su De Revolutionibus Orbium Celestium. Algunos, como Tycho Brahe, intentarían compatibilizar las evidencias observacionales científicas por él registradas con la literalidad de los relatos bíblicos y la tradición aristotélica-ptolemaica escolástica, proponiendo un sistema mixto para un universo finito, en el que todos los planetas girarían en torno al Sol; sistema conjunto que, a su vez, giraría alrededor de la Tierra junto a la Luna. Otros, como Giordano Bruno, asumirían alborozados la novedad copernicana llevándola mucho más allá de lo pretendido por su autor anunciando la existencia de innumerables mundos (habitados) en el seno de un universo finito… esto antes de morir en la hoguera, mientras Johannes Kepler, heredando los ingentes datos acumulados por Brahe, nos regalaría las leyes de la cinemática celeste. Pero estos años de aparente continuidad en el progreso científico tendría una abrupta interrupción en el mundo católico, pues culminaron, precisamente, en los días en que Cervantes y Shakespeare avizoraban el final de sus días en febrero de 1616, con la admonición a Galileo Galieli (llamado a capítulo por la Inquisición Romana), la inclusión de la obra de Copérnico en el Índice de Libros Prohibidos, la condena por heréticos de sus contenidos y la prohibición de su enseñanza. De hecho, se estaba asistiendo en la época a los comienzos de una revolución científica, a ese cambio radical cambio de paradigmas que legaría Europa a la cultura universal, al

aportar una nueva dimensión a la herencia recibida de los clásicos durante los sucesivos renacimientos de los siglos XIII al XVI… Como toda revolución, no resultaría fácil de digerir. La “cordura” de Sancho Panza, ciertamente, le llevaba a asumir lo que la experiencia cotidiana se empeñaba en demostrale día tras día: la Tierra permanecía en reposo mientras era el Sol el que se movía girando a su alrededor por el firmamento. La “locura” de Alonso Quijano sí podía haberle abierto la mente hacia nuevas visiones cosmológicas heliocéntricas. Pero no estaba preparada la España de la Contrarreforma para recibir, entender y asumir las novedades de la Europa del cambio del siglo XVI al XVII, como podemos comprobar en el concepto que sobre las ciencias plasmaba Cervantes en la segunda parte de El Quijote (1615): “La Caballería (...) es una ciencia, replicó don Quijote (...) que encierra en sí todas o las más ciencias del mundo, a causa que el que la profesa ha de ser jurisperito y saber las leyes de la justicia distributiva y conmutativa, para dar a cada uno lo que es suyo y lo que le conviene; ha de ser teólogo, para saber dar razón de la cristiana ley que profesa, clara y directamente, adondequiera que le fuere pedido; ha de ser médico, y principalmente herbolario, para conocer en mitad de los despoblados y desiertos las yerbas que tienen virtud de sanar las heridas, que no ha de andar el caballero andante a cada triquete buscando quien se las cure; ha de ser astrólogo, para conocer por las estrellas cuántas horas son pasadas de la noche y en qué parte y en qué clima del mundo se halla; ha de saber las matemáticas, porque a cada paso se le ofrecerá tener necesidad dellas…” Desaparecido Cervantes, otras figuras de talla universal como Luis de Góngora, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo o Pedro Calderón de la Barca continuarían la tradición literaria española culminando un Siglo de Oro en el que no se suele recordar la contribución de científicos como Gonzalo Hernández de Oviedo, Nicolás Monardes, Francisco Hernández, José Acosta, Álvaro Alonso Barba, etc. Fallecido Shakespeare, científicos británicos como William Harvey, Isaac Barrow, John Wallis, Robert Hooke y, sobre todo, Isaac Newton desarrollarían las aportaciones científicas continentales culminando la revolución científica. En suma, dos formas dispares (¿complementarias?) de contribuir al acerbo cultural universal que, eso sí, harían que España tuviera que esperar tiempos mejores hasta hacer suyas las novedades que experimentaron las ciencias en la época de Cervantes y Shakespeare. Imagen: De Revolutionibus Orbium Celestium.

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  25


ROYAL RELATIONS The involvement of kings and queens in international diplomacy is nothing new, but the monarchies of Spain and the UK have a particularly interesting shared history. By Charles Powell.


t has long been noted that monarchies can make a very positive contribution to their nations’ foreign policies. This is partly because royal families (particularly European ones) form a long-standing, tightly-knit network of relatives and acquaintances who can bridge the gap between national governments, particularly in times of need. This has proved very useful in countries such as Spain and the United Kingdom, whose official bilateral relations have so often been strained. Traditionally, dynastic marriages were the most powerful diplomatic instrument available to monarchs. This explains Catherine of Aragon’s marriage to Arthur (in 1501) and later to his younger brother Henry VIII (in 1509), and Philip II’s betrothal to their daughter Mary (in 1554). Four centuries later, the same logic inspired King Alfonso XIII’s state visit to London in 1905, which led to his marriage to Princess Ena of Battenberg, one of Queen Victoria’s 42 grandchildren, who thereby became Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain in 1906. Spain’s English queen was extremely unhappy in her adopted country, not least because of her difficult relations with her mother-in-law, María Cristina, who flaunted her enthusiasm for the Central Powers during the first world war; although Ena’s political influence on the king was limited, she did her utmost to ensure Spain’s neutrality in the conflict. Sadly, her warnings about 26  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

General Primo de Rivera, who came to power in 1923 with the king’s tacit support, fell on deaf ears. The queen’s influence also explains her youngest son’s decision to join Dartmouth naval college as a cadet following the royal family’s departure from Spain in 1931. Don Juan remained in the Royal Navy for five years, and it was while serving on HMS Enterprise, anchored in Bombay, that he was informed by his father that, in the wake of the renunciations of his brothers Alfonso and Jaime, he was to become the new Prince of Asturias. Don Juan remained a keen anglophile all his life, but his son Juan Carlos, who was sent to live in Spain under General Franco’s tutelage in 1948 at the age of ten, was brought up in a very different environment. The future king would later explain that “for patriotic reasons I was predisposed against England and I refused to learn the language”, much to the irritation of his grandmother and father, who sat him next to the Queen of England at lunch one day so that he would feel ashamed at only being able to converse with her in French. Though exiled in Lausanne, Ena continued to follow events in Spain with keen interest. In 1968 she returned to Madrid for the christening of the future Felipe VI, during which she famously urged Franco to make up his mind: “Name a King of Spain. There are three of them. Choose. Do it while you are

still alive; if not, there will be no King. This is the last and only request of your Queen”. A year later, Juan Carlos was duly proclaimed Franco’s successor. Due to the dictatorial nature of Franco’s regime and the conflict over Gibraltar, Britain’s relations with Spain remained uneasy. The British royal family tried to make up for this by inviting their Spanish relatives to events such as the Queen Mother’s 70th birthday in 1970, the Duke of Edinburgh’s 50th birthday a year later, and Princess Anne’s wedding in 1973. One of Juan Carlos’s staunchest supporters in Britain was Earl Mountbatten, to whom he was related twice over, who went out of his way to convince President Richard Nixon that the future king would supervise a peaceful transition to democracy after Franco’s death. The dictator’s passing in 1975 removed a major obstacle to closer relations with Britain, and the Duke of Edinburgh made a point of attending Juan Carlos’s proclamation ceremony. The new king was initially anxious not to create the impression that his family ties with Britain would jeopardise the Spanish claim to Gibraltar, and was careful to reassert his support for this by-now traditional foreign policy goal in his

“Although Ena’s political influence on the king was limited, she did her utmost to ensure Spain’s neutrality”


proclamation speech. Meanwhile, the Spanish royals continued to visit their British relatives in a private capacity, and greatly regretted not being able to attend Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding in 1981, on account of their choice of Gibraltar as the starting-point of their honeymoon. It was the British government’s agreement in 1984 to include the question of sovereignty in future talks on Gibraltar and the complete opening of the border crossing a year later that finally made possible the state visit to Britain by Juan Carlos and Sofia in April 1986, in the course of which he became the first European monarch ever to have addressed the assembled Houses of Parliament. In spite of referring to Gibraltar as a “colonial relic” in his speech, the king was greeted with enthusiasm, to the extent that the speaker concluded his salutation with a resounding “Viva el Rey! Viva España!” At the University of Oxford, where he received an honorary degree in Law, Juan Carlos was greatly amused to hear a description of his role in aborting the 1981 coup attempt read out in Latin by the public orator. I was sitting quite close to him in the Sheldonian Theatre at the time, and will never forget the mischievous look on his face. Queen Sofía returned to Oxford to receive her own honorary degree in 1989. In the wake of this royal visit, the Prince of Wales and his family stayed with the Spanish royal family at Marivent Palace in Majorca over the summer, a visit they would repeat on three consecutive occasions. Given the media attention they attracted, these holidays probably did more for the improvement

of Anglo-Spanish relations than years of diplomacy could ever have achieved. All of this encouraged Queen Elizabeth to carry out her own long-awaited state visit to Spain in October 1988, which proved a great success with the Spanish public. Like Juan Carlos, the Queen addressed Parliament, where she paid tribute to the king’s role in the nation’s remarkable transition to democracy. As a result of these visits, Juan Carlos joined the Order of the Garter, while the Queen of England was made a member of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece. Following the abdication of Juan Carlos in June 2014, it was hoped that King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia would visit Britain officially to help them establish the kind of personal rapport that had existed in the past, but with a new generation of British royals. Sadly, these plans were cancelled when the Spanish general election held in 2015 failed to produce a clear majority, and hence a new government. In modern parliamentary monarchies such as Britain and Spain, the role of their heads of state in foreign affairs is largely dictated by elected officials. Even in this context, however, the monarchy’s symbolic power is such that it can communicate meaningful messages to the general public which can be of great service to a nation’s standing abroad. It would be a shame if short-term political considerations were allowed to stand in the way of the monarchy’s potential contribution in this field, which remains one of its most significant assets.

Images: Previous page, Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and King Alfonso XIII. This page, clockwise from the top: King Juan Carlos becomes King, pictured with Queen Sofia; Queen Elizabeth with Queen Sofia; the British royals on holiday at Marivent Palace in Majorca; King Felipe VI’s inauguration, pictured with Queen Letizia. Dr Charles Powell is the author of Juan Carlos of Spain, self-made monarch (Palgrave, 1996), the first biography of the Spanish king published in English.

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  27

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English and Spanish are two of the top three most widely spoken languages in the world today. Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council, makes a case for the importance of language learning in today’s global environment.

“We believe that language is essential to understanding in an age of fragmentation and conflict”


recent report by the Instituto Cervantes* points out that the United States is now the world's second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, and based on current trends will have more Spanish speakers than any other country by 2050. To someone who spends much of his life telling people about the 'power of English', this is cause for reflection – though it is not altogether surprising news. Spanish has long been a 'world language', a fact bound up with its history and literature. A global language has not only geographical reach, but imaginative impact – and Spanish has its Cervantes, as English has its Shakespeare. Possessing such a language is a great advantage, to individuals and nations. The world opens up in a special way. The danger is that you may think that as the world is open to you, you do not need to be open to the world. That is, if you speak Spanish or English or Mandarin, you may be tempted not to learn others' languages. That is certainly the case among some people in the United Kingdom, and that complacency risks putting us, as a nation, at a disadvantage. As former German Chancellor Willy Brandt observed, “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.” That is why the British Council works not only to promote the English language, but also encourages the learning of other languages, for example by bringing foreign language assistants to the UK so that students can be taught by native speakers in the classroom. The BritishSpanish Society was set up in 1916, at the height of the first world war, and the British Council in 1934, when extremist ideologies were making themselves felt across Europe. For both organisations the motive was the same: to promote understanding between peoples through cultural and linguistic exchange, as a way of countering the threat to shared European values. We set up our first office in Spain in 1940 and now have 15 centres in Madrid, Barcelona, Segovia, Valencia, Bilbao and Palma de Mallorca. Spain is by far our largest country operation in Europe. The British Council School in Madrid – “El British”– also dates from 1940 and offers a bicultural and multilingual educational programme to almost 2,000 students aged from three to 18. It is a leader in its sector and an innovative centre of the best British and Spanish education. Alongside

other illustrious names, it boasts the chairman of the BritishSpanish Society as one of its alumni. The British Council works through language, education and the arts, because we believe these are among the best ways of making connections with and between people. The way we communicate has undergone a revolution since 1916, but language is still at the heart of all our conversations and debates. It could hardly be otherwise. The BBC’s motto is: “Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation”. An unofficial motto of the internet might be: “People Shall Speak Peace Unto People”. Of course, there are many things on the internet besides peaceful proclamations, but I believe the potential of digital media for connecting people in a positive way is only just beginning to be realised. We believe that language is essential to understanding in an age of fragmentation and conflict. So I share the view of the BritishSpanish Society that organisations like ours have a vital bridge-building mission. Bridge-building is essential to the creation of trust. Our research** shows that people who have had a UK cultural experience are more likely to trust the people of the UK, and in turn more likely to want to do business with us or visit our country. Trust is the element that holds people together, whether those are people in a marriage or a business contract, or those engaged in high-level international diplomacy. Trust has never been more highly valued than today - or more worth pursuing. This year is a very significant one and not just because the BritishSpanish Society will reach its 100th birthday. It is a year in which European values are under pressure as rarely before in the last two decades. The mass movement of people across European borders shines a bright light on our ideas as well as on our humanitarian resources and our security systems. 2016 is also the year in which the people of the UK will have their say on whether they wish to remain in the European Union. Whatever the outcome of that vote, language and the ability to understand others' point of view will remain essential. For the foreseeable future we will still need to talk to our friends and neighbours, and hear what they are saying to us. *El español: una lengua viva (2015) **Trust Pays (2012) Image: © British Council

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  29


“La diplomacia es una verdadera obsesión internacional”

JORGE EDWARDS Jorge Edwards, escritor, periodista y diplomático chileno, proviene de una familia reconocida a los dos lados del Atlántico. En Chile su apellido se encuentra ligado al periódico más leído en el país, El Mercurio, que su pariente Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure adquirió a principios del S.XX. Éste empresario aportó fondos económicos para la fundación, hace ya cien años, de la BritishSpanish Society. Por Laura Gran.


gustín Edwards Mac-Clure ofreció una charla en Cambridge en 1919 en la que afirmó que hablar español era muy importante para el comercio con las naciones hispánicas. ¿Considera que la afirmación continua vigente? Sí, absolutamente, si se quiere hacer comercio con Hispanoamérica es mejor hablar español. Siempre existió un comercio bastante importante entre Reino Unido y Chile. El Agustín Edwards que era hermano de mi bisabuelo fue importante en esta relación comercial porque fue muy activo en la industria del cobre. El 40% del cobre que se consumía en la Inglaterra del S.XIX era de origen chileno. En los comienzos de la Revolución Industrial fue muy importante. La Cátedra de español en la Universidad de Oxford se creó gracias a los fondos que aportó Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure. ¿Tiene idea de por qué estaba tan interesado en fomentar la enseñanza del español en Reino Unido? Pertenecía a una familia chilena influyente, en parte de editores, tenían el Mercurio y revistas. Eran editores en lengua española. Algo conozco la historia de la familia y Agustín era bastante correcto escritor en lengua española. Escribió algunos ensayos políticos, libros históricos, y era muy frecuente que escribiera en el diario. Era un hombre más o menos cultivado. ¿Cómo es en número la colonia británica residente en Chile? Siempre ha sido relativamente pequeña. Cuando yo era muy joven vino a Chile John Boynton Priestley, autor de teatro de obras como El tiempo y los Conway, La visita del Inspector… 30  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

Sus obras se habían dado mucho en el teatro chileno de esos años y visitó los cerros de Valparaiso, donde estaba instalada una pequeña colonia inglesa. Era muy curioso, porque parecían ingleses de un siglo antes. Comían cordero con salsa de menta, se vestían como ingleses, hablaban inglés, tomaban té… Chile ha tenido siempre una pequeña extravagante colonia inglesa y eso todavía existe hoy, pero a muy poca escala. Ya esos ingleses están chilenizados. ¿Cuál es la relación y cómo se ve desde el gobierno de Chile a Reino Unido? Antiguamente la relación era mucho más importante, ahora mismo es más lejana. En cualquier caso hay una curiosidad por lo que ocurre en la Inglaterra de hoy. Algunos escritores han sido invitados por la Universidad Católica de Santiago a dar conferencias. Fue alumno de Alberto Hurtado, jesuita muy querido en Chile y con un gran sentido social, que era apreciado por gente tanto de izquierdas como de derechas. ¿Eso le influenció de alguna forma en su manera de actuar como diplomático? No, como diplomático no me influyó nada, me influyó como persona, como ser humano. Yo soy muy poco diplomático. Esto de la diplomacia es una verdadera obsesión internacional. Yo fui quince años de mi vida diplomático, y he sido setenta años de mi vida escritor. En la sociedad, en los temas de la pobreza, la desigualdad, él naturalmente influyó en mi. Esto lo conté en la Universidad de Salamanca hace alrededor de diez años durante una cumbre presidencial hispanoamericana. Hablé de la relación entre Unamuno,

LITERATURA un escritor que leí con pasión en mi juventud, y Alberto Hurtado. Dije que Unamuno me enseñó el espíritu crítico, analítico y de contradicción, de escepticismo, incluso de rechazo de ciertas verdades que son lugares comunes. Alberto Hurtado me enseñó a conocer la realidad social chilena. Allende le nombró encargado de negocios en la embajada chilena en Cuba. El régimen le consideró poco después persona non grata y escribió un libro con ese nombre. ¿Puede contar brevemente las experiencias más destacadas de aquella época? El título de ese libro es una fantasía, nadie me declaró persona non grata, pero para el gobierno de Fidel Castro fui incómodo, porque era amigo de escritores que estaban perseguidos, arrinconados, censurados y vetados por el castrismo. Yo no conocía el socialismo por dentro y creo que al tercer día ya sabía lo que era. Era una situación de enorme vigilancia policial, toda persona que pensara por su cuenta era mirada bajo sospecha. Eso fue lo primero que me impresionó, y pensé que si se hacía lo mismo en Chile yo iba a ser uno de los primeros exiliados chilenos. Por eso escribí ese libro y le puse Persona non grata, porque yo en realidad lo fui para el gobierno aunque no lo fuese declarado oficialmente. En Francia trabajó en la embajada de Chile en París cuando Pablo Neruda era su máximo representante. ¿Cómo fue trabajar con él?

Estaba muy enfermo, en primer lugar. A mi me han interrogado mucho respecto a eso que dicen de que fue asesinado y yo he respondido que igual fue asesinado, no lo sé, no estoy metido en la investigación policial del tema, pero sé que estaba muy enfermo, agónico, era como asesinar a un enfermo grave. El hecho de que estuviera tan enfermo hizo que yo prácticamente tuviera que dirigir la embajada. Él era un embajador muy ausente, era preocupado con lo que ocurría pero su salud le impedía trabajar como un diplomático activo. ¿Considera que el fomento de la educación y la cultura es la mejor forma para promover el vínculo entre dos países? La cultura promueve vínculos. Cuando la gente del Chile de hoy lee autores españoles actuales o antiguos con una mirada nueva se interesa en España. Eso produce acercamiento, es importante. Hay algo que se podría llamar diplomacia cultural, pero no creo que Chile la haga muy bien, no sólo no tiene los medios sino que a veces tampoco tiene conciencia de que ese tipo de acercamiento por la cultura sea tan importante.

Foto: Jorge Edwards, por Ximena Edwards


LA CANDIDATA, LUZ ENTRE SOMBRAS “Mujeres y poder, un tema que “me hierve la sangre y del que ni se habla” Inspirada en Victoria Kent – importante referente político de la historia de España que ha sido injustamente invisibilizado y subestimado – y en los entramados de la clase empresarial y política, Elena Moya escribe su tercer libro: La Candidata, un libro de ficción basado en hechos de la vida real que refleja el papel de la mujer en el poder. Habla con Carolina Gonzalez Delgado sobre el libro, política y las mujeres.


or qué elegió a Victoria Kent como inspiración y no a Clara Campoamor, por ejemplo? Primero porque ella era lesbiana y yo también, luego porque el tema de Victoria Kent ya había salido en el segundo libro y, por último, porque Clara Campoamor no tuvo un cargo ejecutivo en el Gobierno, Victoria Kent fue la primera en hacerlo. Muchos de los problemas que tiene mi Candidata hoy en día son muy similares a los de Victoria Kent en el poder: cómo la trataban, cómo hablaban sobre su ropa, cómo la despidieron… cuando fue una de las mejores ministras que ha tenido España. ¿Qué puede hacer el Gobierno para frenar la discriminación contra la mujer? Los Gobiernos pueden hacer muchísimo. Inglaterra, por ejemplo, ha puesto en marcha una ley que obliga a las empresas a hacer público cuánto cobra un hombre y cuánto una mujer. El secretismo es la mejor manera de que un problema perdure. También en muchos países hay cuotas (obligatorias de representación femenina). Es verdad que esto da lugar a pensar que una mujer está allí por la cuota, pero lo que ganamos estableciéndolas es mucho más de lo que perdemos. Es un cambio puntual, sí, pero ¿nos esperamos dos generaciones a que esto se resuelva? Si se cambiase la ley en cinco años tendríamos un 25% de mujeres en puestos directivos. El Gobierno también puede hacer mucho hablando y alertando sobre el problema, como lo hace sobre las drogas o los accidentes de tráfico.

¿Qué puede hacer la sociedad civil respecto a este problema para que las soluciones no vengan sólo desde arriba? Puede hacer mucho porque el poder lo llevamos cada uno en la cabeza. Las mujeres tendríamos que empezar, uno, a ayudarnos entre nosotras mismas y dos, a no tolerar actitudes discriminatorias. ¿Cree que España está preparada para que gobierne una mujer? Yo creo que sí. En España la gente está mucho más preparada y se adapta mucho mejor que los gobiernos. Yo soy lesbiana, he viajado con mi pareja por los pueblos más recónditos de Andalucía y Extremadura y no he tenido ningún problema. Aún así, tengo un Gobierno que quiere prohibir las bodas gay. No tenemos los gobiernos que nos merecemos, tenemos gobiernos anquilosados, retros, que no están en conexión con la gente. La Candidata humaniza la vida de una política, mostrando sus debilidades como persona y personaje público. ¿Esto es positivo? Sí, y creo que para los hombres también. Los políticos sufren como todos, lo que pasa es que, claro, lo esconden. Una ex ministra española me contó que un día llegó a casa llorando porque se pasó tres años trabajando en un proyecto y al presentarlo sólo se refirieron al modelito que llevaba. Y como ella seguramente debe haber políticos hombres muy dolidos. ¿La política debería funcionar por sentido común? Creo que el sentido común es lo que siempre funciona, pero hay veces que no le atinamos. ¿Cuál es el mayor problema de España? El paro. Si yo fuera presidenta dedicaría mis máximos esfuerzos y recursos a reducirlo. ¿Eso hace el Gobierno? No, tiene puesto el acelerador en fastidiar a los catalanes, en el tema de la Iglesia… esto no es sentido común. Si lo hubiera habría un plan de todas las fuerzas políticas, sociales y empresariales para reducirlo. ¿Por qué el Gobierno tiene puesto el acelerador en Cataluña y no en el paro? Porque es más fácil decir que no a los catalanes que ponerse a resolver el tema del paro. Defender la unidad de España les da votos sin mucho trabajo, el paro es un tema arduo y difícil que ninguno de los gobiernos de este país ha sabido – o mejor dicho, no se ha atrevido – a solucionar. Ningún gobierno se atreve a romper estructuras porque ellos mismos forman parte de ellas, así de claro. Ha puesto otra vez mucho de sí en La Candidata… Sí (risas), para eso hicieron la gran literatura. Toda obra creativa la mayoría de las veces es una rebelión contra algo. Igual para otras personas es diferente, no sé, pero desde luego en mi caso la escritura nace con una necesidad de protesta. ¿Quiénes deberían tener su libro, algún grupo social en particular? Sobre todo los hombres… bueno no, las mujeres… Es para todos, sí, para todos.

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¿Qué es más importante: el poder, los principios o el amor? Creo que los principios es lo primero. Nos pueden quitar todo: el poder, el dinero, la riqueza y el amor, pero los principios sobre los que sostenemos la personalidad y la excelencia, no. Luego el amor, porque el poder felicidad no te da, aunque supongo que muchas satisfacciones sí. El poder, además, dura poco, porque va y viene. El amor sí que alimenta el corazón. Y, por último, el poder, porque te permite hacer muchas cosas. Creo que la ambición no es mala y que el poder es fantástico para cambiar y hacer otras cosas. Si pudiera enviarle un mensaje a las mujeres que se mueven en el mundo político y empresarial, ¿cuál sería? ¡Que mujeres al poder! Que se armen de valor, que pongan las manos sobre la mesa, reclamen lo que es suyo, miren arriba y no se autocensuren; que digan “yo tengo el derecho de ser mujer, madre y subir” y que entiendan que pueden ser jefas y salir a las seis, es su derecho, su empresa está obligada a facilitarlo. Nadie nos va a poner las cosas en bandeja, nosotras tenemos que quererlo. Y esto hay que hacerlo y hacerlo bien, con actitud positiva. No se trata de hacer una guerra contra los hombres.

Imagenes: Esta página Victoria Kent (Wikimedia); pagina anterior, foto de Elena Moya, hecha por Atsede Amero-Selassie.


FINIS TERRAE: THE END OF THE KNOWN WORLD Cape Horn in Chile, at the southern tip of the earth, was originally inhabited by the Yahgans, the indigenous people of the southern Cone, but it has been known to Western culture since it was discovered by the Dutch 400 years ago. The Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art and Santander Bank will be publishing a book to commemorate the event in 2017. By Laura Gran.


ape Horn is located at the most southern point in the world, 650 kilometres from Antarctica. The area is extremely cold, full of glaciers and unique vegetation, and according to the World Health Organization it has the purest water on Earth. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans converge at the cape, which makes it a high risk area for sailing. However, despite its awkward location, the Yahgan people inhabited the area 6,000 years ago. They adapted well to the adverse conditions and survived by eating sea lions and whales, both animals full of fat deposits and protein.They lived by hunting, fishing and harvesting for centuries in extreme weather conditions. But contact with white foreigners was catastrophic for them. They were infected by all kind of diseases, from a simple cold to syphilis. According to Carlos Aldunate, director of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art in Santiago, Yahgans were considered “less human beings than dogs” by English naturalist Charles Darwin due to their way of living. Darwin saw them as backward people within the biological and cultural evolution of human beings. He travelled to Cape Horn in 1830 and published a few documents after meeting them. “When members from [the] Christian [religion], read the papers [they] got agitated by their contents. That explains why they sent anthropologists on different missions to verify if Darwin’s information was right”, says Aldunate. The anthropologists travelled to Cape Horn at the end of the 19th century. Luckily for the Yahgans, their conclusions contradicted Darwin´s. Anglican missioner Lucas Bridges and German Catholic ethnologist Martín Gusinde argued that the people were not like animals and wrote numerous publications about the Yahgans´ language, songs, cosmological and religious world to prove it. Only one descendant of the Yahgans remains, Cristina Calderón, who still speaks the native language. Today Cape Horn is inhabited only by the lighthouse 34  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

guard and his wife. They are psychologically prepared to live there for one year and administer first aid to sailors who still defy the rough sea. In the past, Spanish, English and Dutch sailors faced the treacherous waters in efforts to arrive at “the Indias” to control the traffic of exotic products. Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, the body of water just south of Cape Horn was an important trade route, named Drake Passage after the English explorer Sir Francis Drake, whose ship was blown south there. The first person to successfully pass through Drake passage to the Pacific ocean was Dutch explorer Willem Schouten, who discovered Cape Horn in 1616 and gave it the name of his hometown, the Dutch city of Hoorn. The history of this small piece of land is extensive and significant not only for Chile but for the world. Nevertheless, there is not much information about it. “We want to make an aspect of our territory known; [our] history and ancestral culture is not [known by the] national public,” states Aldunate. “Although Cape Horn was discovered by Yahgans for mankind, we could say the Dutch people discovered it for Western culture 400 years ago”, he adds. To commemorate this anniversary, the Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art plans to publish a book about Cape Horn in cooperation with Santander Bank in 2017. Written in Spanish and English, it will feature history, iconography, photographs and different chapters describing mythology and literature about Cape Horn from writers such as Julio Verne and Herman Melville. They found the place exciting for artistic reasons, but history has shown that it is also interesting in political and sociological terms. Cape Horn was an ownerless land until Chile took occupation of it in 1843, but before and after that date many have been drawn to its unique features. “Some [are] calling it the beginning of the world, [not] the end of it”, concludes Aldunate.


Photos by Fernando Maldonado. Clockwise from top left: el mar; Carlos Aldunate and Vice Admiral Mattieu Borsboom; a Yahgan grave; Yahgan settlement; Cristina Calderón.

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  35



The author and creator of Manolito Gafotas meets Jules Stewart in New York before her move back to Madrid.


lvira Lindo has added the calling of diarist to her successful repertoire of fiction, broadcasting, journalism and scriptwriting, with an account of her last winter spent in New York, the recently-published Noches sin dormir. It is a narrative based on 12 years in the Big Apple and this New Yorker to the quick found it a cracking good read, as well as an honest and penetrating description of the splendours and horrors of the city that never sleeps. The book is profusely illustrated with photos taken by the author on her meanderings about the city. These images bring out the essence of the city in characters from the endearing to the almost grotesque. A native of Cádiz, Lindo moved to Madrid when she was 12. She later dropped out of a journalism course to begin working in television and radio broadcasting. She has produced several award-winning novels, such as Una palabra tuya, which won the Premio Biblioteca Breve. Her hugely successful children’s books based on the character Manolito Gafotas, the son of a Carabanchel lorry driver, was awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura Infantily Juvenil. Manolito was the protagonist of several books written in the first person, with a style that includes sharp social criticism and irony, not a widely understood or appreciated form of humour in Spain. The character gained enormous popularity and was soon adapted for television and the cinema. “Being a multi-disciplined writer throws up certain problems,” Lindo explains over drinks at the Lincoln Centre café. “People get the impression of you as a jack of all trades and master of none. I prefer to define myself as a chronicler of contemporary history.” Lindo says that when working in cinema there is an acceptance that what she writes is susceptible to alteration. “In newspaper journalism, on the other hand, I feel more in touch with reality. It also imposes certain constraints, above all the obvious limitation of space. With books, you are the 36  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

undisputed master of the universe. It’s the most gratifying but also the most risky mode of expression.” The transition from adult to children’s fiction, she says, was achieved without major difficulties. “There is a part of me that remains anchored in my adolescence,” she says. “In fact, I’ve been writing stories since the age of nine, so you might says that children’s literature is part of my DNA.” Lindo moved to New York 13 years ago when her husband, novelist Antonio Muñoz Molina, was offered the directorship of the Instituto Cervantes. This move enabled the couple to become writers in New York, which they acknowledge has been an enriching experience. “By the winter of 2014, I sensed the experience was coming to an end,” she says. “New York has a long history of the comings and goings of writers. Travelling to New York as a tourist is great fun, but living here on a daily basis is quite a different life. I cannot shut my eyes to the harsh reality of New York. It’s a hard life and the gap between the haves and have-nots is enormous.” She had the good fortune to live in the fashionable Upper West Side, surrounded by smart boutiques and restaurants and within a few minutes’ stroll of Central Park. That said, her latest book reflects what she witnessed in the less fortunate neighbourhoods of Manhattan and the outer boroughs. As such, it opens up vistas into a New York not often seen by the casual visitor. Lindo has returned to Madrid with a certain feeling of trepidation, sensing the political tension that has been building since the 2008 global financial meltdown and its devastating impact on the Spanish economy. “When the crisis hit, it seemed that just talking or writing about it marked you as an enemy of the government and the established order,” she says. “Things began to change with the events of 15-M (the worldwide Indignant movement, which was born in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol), when people began to openly express their anger, and with the emergence of the new political parties that gave voice to this sense of outrage. I have always been critical of my country, in conversation and in my articles in El País. But I am confident things can change. The Spanish people are now far more demanding of their government and its representatives.” In spite of the hard times and widespread discontent, Lindo still sees Spain as a country that places a high value on personal relations between friends and family. “The quality of life in any Spanish city has always been and remains on a high level,” she says. “Human relations are a life saver.” She also finds encouragement in the growing awareness and people’s response to the social issues that dominate Spanish society, especially the role and empowerment of women.

“I have always been critical of my country... But I am confident things can change. ”

Images: Elvira Lindo by Ricardo Martin; Noches sin dormir book cover

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“this ninetyminute tour de force was all about el guitarra”


The Andalusian guitarrist brought more than flamenco to Sadler’s Wells on February 21. By Graham Watts.


particular allegiance to the terpsichorean arts might mislead to the biaised view that flamenco is dance. But, of course, it is also song; percussion, delivered by the clapping of hands and the tapping of feet, as well as through a whole variety of strange-looking drums, and the true form is nothing without a guitar, or two. Flamenco generally brings all of these elements together into one collaborative fusion; but, in some scenarios, such as on this auspicious evening, just one of these arts will be the shining light. Drumming and palmas (the hand-clapping inherent to flamenco rhythm) featured notably throughout Vicente Amigo’s concert, which also included a brief explosion of dance; but this 90-minute tour de force was all about el guitarra. It would be wrong to label Amigo’s innovative style as “flamenco”. While he is a superb flamenco guitarist – who, at 48, is now widely regarded as one of the greatest of the current generation – there are so many other classical, jazz and Celtic influences wafting through the extraordinary aural journey of his latest album, Tierra (Earth), which constitutes the lion’s share of this concert’s dozen-or-so musical numbers. For sure, the anguished drama of traditional flamenco is less evident in this lyrical suite of songs, all composed by Amigo, which – taken together – presents a consistent rhythmic flow through the concert. Perhaps the only downside to this is an occasional similarity of tempo and melody being passed like a baton from one number to the next. A uniformity that is pleasantly reinforced by introducing most numbers with a gentle pattern of palmas, soft brushstrokes on the drums (by Paquito González) and, sometimes, the hoarse, whispering vocals of Rafael de Utrera. The title track from Tierra, played midway through the concert and the closing number, ‘Roma’, have the lingering impact of great melodies that just keep growing to arrest one’s consciousness. I liked them so much that I bought the album the very next day. The solitary dance number came very late in the programme. After completing the ninth song, Amigo introduced the five members of his band, describing the barely-evident palmista, El Choro (Antonio Molina), as a bailaor, which seemed odd, since El Choro had not yet risen from his seat. Anticipating the audience’s surprise, Amigo quickly added “un poquito” to the description! With thick black beard, dark, brooding eyes and long hair

slicked back and pulled up into a high bun, when eventually rising to dance his solitary number, El Choro (dressed all in black) delivered a barrage of intense bursts of zapateado (furiously fast footwork), punctuated by the regular pauses and macho poses that release the spirit of the matador into flamenco. El Choro learnt his art at the feet of his father – also known as El Choro – and this lifelong study was well evident in neat and highly disciplined footwork. Unsurprisingly the Choro clan is rooted in the flamenco heartland of Andalusia, hailing from the maritime city of Huelva, situated on the Gulf of Cádiz (Amigo comes from the nearby city of Córdoba). While the close technical control and intense dramatic impact of the younger El Choro paid allegiance to this familial legacy, his portliness and overt weariness at the end of a single solo suggested a possible lack of stamina for a longer gig. Nonetheless, one burst of El Choro is a flamenco equivalent of a sugar rush. But, back to the main attraction and – meaning no disrespect to El Choro or any of the other four members of this band of amigos – the audience had come for their Amigo, calling out to him between numbers and regularly breaching the fourth wall with the personal rapport that sets flamenco apart from other theatrical forms. The simple set was arranged as for any musical concert: the only embellishments coming in the changing colours of the backdrop, from the deep blue and purple hues of a cloudless Andalusian sky on a fine, spring morning, to the earthy orange of sun-baked soil; swirling cones of smoke, apparently sucked upwards into narrowing beams of light. Simple, maybe; but a meaningful evocation of the flavour of southern Spain. I came to this concert, knowing Amigo to be one of the finest flamenco guitarists, perhaps even on the cusp of inheriting the mantle of “the greatest”, vacated by the death (almost exactly two years ago) of Paco de Lucía. Amigo has an effortless, easy style and crystal-clear tonality, amply demonstrated in the diverse fluctuations of the opening solo, performed alone on the stage. The broadening of his musical horizons and the adaption of the style of flamenco guitar to absorb so many other contemporary and classical influences must place him in the very top rank of all virtuoso acoustic guitarists: verdaderamente, Amigo es un Leyenda de la guitarra. Photo: Lorenzo Duaso Polo

Spring-Summer 2016 • La Revista  39


LIBRERÍA A different kind of bookstore has opened in East London. Jules Stewart visited following the launch.


new bookshop is always a welcome addition to any neighbourhood’s cultural and commercial life, even more so when it bears the suggestive name Librería. This highly unorthodox venture recently opened in Spitalfield’s Hanbury Street is the brainchild of former Downing Street policy maker Rohan Silva and his business partner Sam Aldenton. This traditionally Bengali enclave in the city’s East End has been gentrified to the point that it probably boasts the greatest number of espresso bars per square foot in London. The shop’s name was inspired by the title of Jorge Luis Borges’ short story The Library of Babel, whose plot centres on a library composed of hexagonal galleries containing all the world’s books, past, present and future. Another Hispanic touch is the unique design by the Madrid-based firm of architects SelgasCano. They also created Second Home across the road, the working space with a curved bubble façade, whose tenants comprise a mix of start-ups and established businesses. “The Name Librería also reflects our intention to offer a range of books in Spanish and other languages,” says the shop’s director Sally Davies. “We have a lot of works in translation, but the aim is to expand and eventually feature foreign language books.” Davies, former digital editor at FT Weekend, says the shop is also planning to launch a programme of dynamic events to make the shop more than a browsing and buying experience. “As well as author readings, we are considering unusual offerings like experimental theatre and even an evening with a scent expert.” Librería has exceeded expectation in its first few weeks of trading. On a Sunday morning there was a queue at the till and a packed house at the shelves. The latter can be deceptive, as the mirrored wall at the rear gives the illusion of doubling the number of customers. Librería’s arrangement of its stock of some 3,000 books is another distinctive feature. Instead of standard categories, like history and fiction, they are arranged by themes, such as the sea and sky, family and love. “The emphasis is on idiosyncratic curation,”says Davies. One of Librería’s most welcome innovations is its strictly digital-free browsing policy. Mobile phones and tablets are to switch off, please. “The idea is to create a haven away from the digital world,” says Davies. “We suffer from an inability to focus and we are constantly distracted by these devices. Our ambition is to offer our customers a sanctuary of time and space. We’ve on occasion had to remind customers of this, but so far the response has been positive and sympathetic.” Photos: Iwan Baan

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Dominic Begg discovers sand dunes, fresh-water caves and 17th century art on the island long before the summertime clubbing rush.


uesday We arrive on a sunny afternoon. During the 20-minute coach trip from Ibiza airport to our hotel we pass two of the island’s most famous nightclubs, as well as roadside hoardings promoting their DJs’ farewell gigs in late September and early October 2015. Evidently that was when the tourists, estimated at three million a year, departed. Wednesday Walking eastwards from our base on the Cala de Bou along the seafront to Sant Antoni, there are just enough surviving pine groves and savina trees spilling down to the shore for us to imagine how this impressive bay would have looked 50 years ago. Sadly the authorities gave construction companies carte blanche, so now it’s an interminable line of hotels and apartment blocks, backed by bars, discos and souvenir shops, 90 per cent of which will remain closed until May. In effect we’re staying in a ghost-town… Thursday The solution? A day excursion to the neighbouring island of Formentera. The catamaran ferry from Ibiza town bumps across the choppier part of the crossing, those five minutes when it’s clear of the protective headlands of both islands, and lands us at Port de la Savina. A few kilometres inland is the “capital”, Sant Francesc Xavier (population 1,000) with its white fortress church, built as a refuge from pirate attacks. Next, a drive along the island’s narrowest section (you can see the transparent turquoise sea to your left and right) and then uphill through woods to its easternmost point, El Pilar de la Mola, featuring a lighthouse atop terrifying ochre cliffs and a plaque dedicated to Jules Verne. Before returning to the catamaran, we visit glorious beaches on the north coast, fringing the Ses Salines nature reserve. One of these was recently voted the best beach in Europe, totally deserted today, except for a few friendly cats rolling about on the ash-blonde dunes.

42  La Revista • Spring-Summer 2016

Friday We spend the morning high above Ibiza (or Eivissa) town, in the citadel built by Phoenicians and subsequently expanded by Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Spanish. In the late 1960s hippies occupied some of the jumbled, picturesque old houses huddled below the bastions and the modest cathedral. A few leathery survivors remain. Meanwhile, building work on a spectacularly located Parador, with views towards Barbary, has been suspended due to lack of funding. Before descending to the modern town, we happen across an art exhibition in a beautiful 17th century house, featuring two painters called Narciso Puget. The father, a contemporary of Sorolla, produced historically valuable costumbrista canvasses, showing the country people of Ibiza at work and play. We see peasant women walking to church through fig orchards, with the topmost of their six petticoats folded upwards, a uniquely Ibizan custom. Narciso junior, who died in 1960, focused mainly on architectural and nautical watercolours. Saturday If you were the bishop of Tarragona five or six hundred years ago, one of your duties would have involved setting up communities and churches in Ibiza, hence the number of towns and villages named after saints. Today we head inland to the centre of the island for a look at Santa Gertrudis with its typical whitewashed church and fresh country air. Apparently both Tony Blair and the late Duchess of Alba spent time here. The local cafés are famous for their high-quality bocadillos de jamón. Further north we spot the church of Sant Miquel de Balanasat, high on a hill. It’s the only church in Ibiza with two naves, designed to prevent the young men from ogling the girls during mass. Nearby Sant Joan de Labritja consists of one steep street leading up to a substantial church. The lush vegetation hereabouts suggests we’re in mid-April. Near Sant Carles de Peralta we visit a perfectly preserved 17th century farmhouse, complete with wine and

olive presses. Photographs from 1947 and 1964 show the last generation to live and work here. No-nonsense weatherbeaten faces stare bleakly from the white walls, soon to encounter hippies, tourism and a chance for the younger family members to lead a less backbreaking life. Sunday Heading inland and uphill from San Antonio, we notice, in among the trees, a stone circle that looks like the top part of a well. It turns out to be an abandoned sunken fireplace once used by charcoalburners. Subsequently we see several more. They remind us that in the old days many islanders barely subsisted, with many forced to emigrate (usually to the Magreb) after a couple of bad harvests. Monday A boat trip round the north west coast of Ibiza. Ramshackle wooden boat sheds survive just above sea level in some coves. Though no longer used by fishermen, they will be preserved in order to show schoolchildren how tough life used to be for their forbears. Leaving the pines and luxury chalets behind, we cower below towering cliffs, crags, dramatic rock formations and grottoes – an archaeologist’s paradise. At Cap Nunó a premanent dribble of fresh water from a hidden spring slides down the rockface into the sea; miraculous and frustrating for an island that is chronically short of rainfall and decent drinking-water. Tuesday All week I’ve been reading the two Ibiza newspapers, both of which have featured stories about the local flora and fauna. All 50 goats on the sinister uninhabited islote of Es Vedrà have been shot by Civil Guards, ostensibly to prevent possible diseases. This has caused an outcry. Meanwhile, snakes have been eating an alarming number of the island’s emblematic lizards, while the rare Ibizan seaweed on the seabed that filters and cleanses the sea is to receive further protection from the destructive anchors of luxury yachts. On the road to the airport we see those same roadside hoardings freshly pasted over with a new advertisement: a nightclub announcing its opening event for 2016, scheduled optimistically for April 29. Hopefully for the islanders, quiet days till then. Images: Dominic and his wife, Maggie, at the highest point on Formentera; slow-growing, hard Savina trees.

Profile for LaRevista

La revista Issue 242  

Special Centenary edition of La Revista

La revista Issue 242  

Special Centenary edition of La Revista


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