Giles Tremlett

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Giles Tremlett in Madrid in 2017.

Giles E.H. Tremlett (born Plymouth, 1962)[1] is an award-winning historian, author and journalist based in Madrid, Spain.

Tremlett is a Fellow of the Cañada Blanch Centre at the London School of Economics and is author of three works of history and non-fiction that have been translated into half a dozen languages. He is Contributing Editor at The Guardian, specializing in long form international reportage and political analysis.[2] He previously worked for The Economist. He won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2018.


He graduated in Human Sciences (Anthropology) at the University of Oxford in 1984 and has also studied at the Universities of Barcelona and Lisbon.

He had his first taste of Spanish life when he lived in Barcelona for two years in the mid eighties. After a period in Lisbon and then in London, he returned to live in Spain in the mid-1990s. He was The Guardian's correspondent for Spain, Portugal and the Maghreb for a dozen years. He was also Madrid correspondent for The Economist for a decade until 2016. He has been a regular current affairs commentator for various Spanish broadcasters, including state-owned TVE television, La Sexta and the country's biggest radio station, Cadena SER, as well as writing for several Spanish newspapers, including El País and El Mundo.

He was co-founder and curator of the Docubeats documentary project at The Guardian and El País. In 2012 he was voted Correspondent of the Year by the Madrid International Press Club.

He has been a guest lecturer on journalism or contemporary Spanish history and participant in seminars at numerous universities, including Oxford, MIT and Stanford.


Giles Tremlett is a twin. He moved around the world from an early age, following his father Colonel Edward Tremlett to postings in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Turkey and Germany. He currently lives in Madrid with his wife Katharine Blanca Scott and their two sons Lucas and Samuel.


His book Ghosts of Spain: Travels through a country’s hidden past (2007)[3] was translated into five languages and has sold 150,000 copies worldwide.

In 2010 he published a biography of Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish infanta who became Henry VIII's first wife, with Faber and Faber in London and Walker in New York. Catherine of Aragon was BBC Radio 4's "Book of the Week" in November 2010 and was short-listed for the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize. It has been translated into Spanish, Russian and Polish.

His biography of Isabella of Castile – the Spanish queen who sent Columbus to the Americas, founded what became the world's first global empire, united Spain, set up the Inquisition and expelled Europe's largest community of Jews, was published in 2017.[4] It won the Elizabeth Longford Prize in 2018 [5]. The Spanish translation, published by Debate, was one of the best-selling history books in Spain in 2018. It has also been translated into Portuguese and Chinese.

He is currently working on a history of the International Brigade volunteers from 52 countries who defended the Spanish Republic against the right-wing military uprising of General Francisco Franco in the 1930s. This is due for publication in the summer of 2020.[6]


  • Ghosts of Spain Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-22169-1
  • Catherine of Aragon Walker & Company. ISBN 978-0-8027-7916-8[7]
  • Isabella of Castile Bloomsbury ISBN 978-1408853979


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