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Ronald Fraser

Ronald Fraser is the author of three histories of Spain: Blood of Spain, In Hiding and The Pueblo.

Did he or didn’t he?

Ronald Fraser, 20 August 1992

Having described a significant segment of his past in South from Granada, published in 1957, Gerald Brenan went on to write two volumes of autobiography, A Life of One’s Own (1902) and Personal Record (1974). These covered his life from early childhood to his return to southern Spain in 1953 when he was nearly sixty, with a few final pages devoted to the following twenty years. Shortly before his death in 1987, a selection of the letters between him and his lifelong friend, Ralph Partridge, was also published. It seemed that there was not much more we would want or need to know about the foremost British writer on Spain this century.

Revenges

Ronald Fraser, 7 February 1991

Ralph Glasser’s and Nicholas Gage’s latest autobiographical instalments find their authors making good in their countries of adoption, England and the US respectively. The cost to each of their ascent from exceedingly harsh social beginnings has been different, but in ways that are not surprising: in England the struggle centred on class, in the US on money. Not that class and money are separable in either country, only that their precedence is reversed. Class – learning the codes of Oxbridge language and conduct – opened the gates to Glasser’s professional future, while in the US Gage had first to accumulate the money to get a university education before entering the ranks of the middle classes.’

Staying at home

Ronald Fraser, 27 July 1989

In 1973 Ian Gibson published The Death of Lorca, his outstanding investigation into the circumstances, silenced for forty years by the Franco regime, of the poet’s assassination at the insurgent military’s hands in the first month of the Civil War. It is highly fitting, therefore, that Gibson should have now written the life of Lorca, as close to a definitive biography as we are likely to get.

Coups

Ronald Fraser, 16 July 1981

From a distance, the image of a pistol-toting Civil Guard colonel holding prisoner Spain’s cabinet and members of parliament recalled Marx’s phrase that history, tragic in its first occurrence, repeats itself as farce. From a lesser distance, the long night of 23-24 February, with tanks in the streets of Valencia, national television taken over, ministers and deputies incarcerated under armed guard in the Cortes, sometimes seemed like history setting out to repeat itself as tragedy.

Letter
Having read Michael Ignatieff’s review of Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture (LRB, 17 July), I wouldn’t threaten Professor Showalter with death; or even, as a long-term sufferer, wish Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on her. But to use a hand-me-down theory (i.e. the depressive origins of CFS) to fit a thesis without bothering to check the by now considerable body of international...
Letter
Mary Beard’s review of my recent study of The Golden Bough (LRB, 26 July) involves a strange reversal of values. The subject of her elegant piece is Frazer’s reception; the subject of my book is his sources. Any consideration of his impact I had meticulously deferred to a related publication, Sir James Frazer and the Literary Imagination, dealing with many of the authors she lists in her...
Letter

Modern Spain

16 July 1981

SIR: I sympathise with J.E.R. Little’s view (LRB, 16 July) that my article two issues earlier was unsatisfactory as a review of Raymond Carr’s Modern Spain; the criticism, I believe, goes to the heart of a wider reviewing tendency here and thus requires an explanation. The failure, however lamentable, was not gratuitous. It arose directly from my brief to write an essay on, not a review...

Spain v. Napoleon

David A. Bell, 6 November 2008

In March 1962, the German far-right intellectual Carl Schmitt visited Spain. It was a homecoming of sorts, for while Germany now shunned this brilliant jurist, who had given enthusiastic support...

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When students ruled the earth

D.A.N. Jones, 17 March 1988

Twenty years is a long time in politics. To me, the flavour of the year 1968 is still ‘anti-Fascism’. The meanings of ‘Fascism’ and ‘National Socialism’ are...

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Poor Boys

Karl Miller, 18 September 1986

These are books by middle-aged semi-Scots who have chosen to publish accounts of their early lives which lay stress on the troubles they experienced, on the troubles inflicted by poverty and...

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