‘So where should I go? It was just a question of getting there – France? Italy? Greece? I knew nothing at all about any of them, they were just names with vaguely operatic flavours. I knew no languages either, so felt I could arrive new-born wherever I chose to go. Then I remembered that somewhere or other I’d picked up a phrase in Spanish for “Will you please give me a glass of water?” and it was probably this rudimentary bit of lifeline that finally made up my mind. I decided I’d go to Spain . . .’
When Laurie Lee set out on foot from his home in the Gloucestershire village of Slad one midsummer morning in 1935 he was 19 and off to see the world with only his violin for company. So began a year of wandering that eventually took him from the north to the south of Spain, a country in which life had barely changed since the Middle Ages but which was now on the brink of a bitter civil war. The adventure that began as a romantic dream ended somewhat ignominiously, but it inspired Lee to produce this brilliant and darkly haunting account of a vanished Spain.
Please click here for an extract from Slightly Foxed Edition No. 54: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, and scroll down for a selection of transporting reading recommendations. Our compact cloth-bound hardbacks are the perfect size for slotting into a pocket or bag – or for resting in one hand while you recline and sip from a glass of something cooling.
With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Anna, Hattie & Jess