A Handbook for Travellers in Spain

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Richard Ford’s A Handbook for Travellers in Spain (1845) marked a defining moment in English travel literature.

British tourists were travelling through Europe in increasing numbers and the need for guidebooks was beginning to be supplied by publishers like John Murray. In 1845 Ford, who had gained tremendous knowledge of Spain by extensive travel on horseback, wrote this charming account enlivened by humour and anecdotes.

In Ford's obituary, commonly attributed to Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, "so great a literary achievement had never before been performed under so humble a title."[1] Ford marked, with George Borrow the eccentric English traveller, an interest in Spain that would continue through the twentieth century on the part of British writers: Gerald Brenan, Norman Lewis and George Orwell were among the most eminent of these successors, with Jason Webster (the author of Duende, Andalus and Guerra) and Chris Stewart (the author of Driving Over Lemons) being contemporary.

As of 1966 the book was still being reprinted.

In 1855 Richard Ford also wrote "Andalucia, Ronda and Granada, Murcia, Valencia, and Catalonia; the portions best suited for the invalid".[2]

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