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July 29 , 2010

Fabled Shore

From the Pyrenees to Portugal


The long Mediterranean coast-line of Spain from the Pyrenees to the Pillars of Hercules, with the Atlantic shore beyond that sweeps round Cadiz Bay to the southern edge of Portugal, is the changing scene of Rose Macaulay's journey, here described, as she drove her car along the fabled shore. Phoenician and Greek settlements, Carthaginian cities, Roman walls, arches, towers aqueducts and theatres, richly ex­quisite Arab courts and doorways, white Moorish towns, Romanesque churches and monasteries, sumptuous baroque facades, line the coast and its hinterland, a lovely palimpsest of the Mediterranean history of three thousand years.

With this book, first published in 1949, Dame Rose Macaulay made her own witty, erudite, observant and poetic addition to the literature of Spain. The Spanish coastline has changed in many aspects, and not for the better, since Fabled Shore first appeared in 1949, but with her strongly developed sense of the past her learning and her humour, Rose Macaulay remains, through this bool one of the best of all companions for the visitor to Spain.

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