Manuel Chaves Nogales

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Manuel Chaves Nogales (Seville, Spain August 1897 – May, 1944 in London) was a Spanish journalist and writer, an enthusiastic supporter of the Second Spanish Republic and friend of the new President Manuel Azaña.


Manuel Chaves Nogales was a journalist and writer, a moderate left-wing republican democrat who defined himself as antifascist and antirevolutionary. When the Spanish civil war broke out he worked for the cause of the Republic until the government abandoned Madrid and moved to Valencia, then Chaves like so many other Spanish intellectuals, was forced to leave Spain.

His father was also a journalist and he began working in the newspaper El Liberal in Seville whilst he was still very young.

In 1922 he moved with his wife and daughter to Madrid and there he worked in the El Heraldo de Madrid with other young promising journalists.

In 1927 he won the most prestigious journalist prize in Spain, Mariano de Cavia with a feature article on Ruth Elder, the first woman who flew across the Atlantic on her own. Because he was very enthusiastic about the future he embarked on many risky flights including an adventurous flight to the new USSR, which gave him material for three new books: Around the world in an aircraft; A bourgeois in red Russia and A Bolshevik in love.

In 1935 he wrote one of the best ever written books on bullfighting, Juan Belmonte, matador de toros, su vida y sus hazañas, which was translated into English (as Juan Belmonte, killer of bulls) and French, and in 1931 he was designated director of a new and independent national newspaper, Ahora, ideologically related to the Republic and to Manuel Azaña.

The following years he travelled through Europe constantly and the result was two more books on the Russian revolution, What is left of the Empire of Tzars, published in 1931, and Juan Martinez who was there, published in 1934 which tells the story of a Spanish dancer who was caught in Russia during the 1917 revolution.

In exile in 1936 in Paris he worked for Cooperation Paris Service which sent articles to various South American news papers. In Paris he collaborated with the L’Europe Nouvelle and Candide.

In 1937 he published a new book Heroes, Beasts and Martyrs of Spain, considered one of the best book based on stories that illustrate the suffering supported by both sides of the civil war, the book was reedited in 2001. In its prologue Manuel Chaves writes brutality and stupidity reigned in Spain fed equally by the fever of communism and the blandness of fascism.

Due to his many articles denouncing the advance of German fascism he was on the Gestapo list and was once again forced to abandon Paris when the German army approached the French capital.

In 1940 he arrived in London and between 1941 and 1942 he directed The Atlantic Pacific Press Agency, worked at the Evening Standard where he had his own column, and collaborated with BBC Overseas Broadcasts.

His wife and four children had returned to the south of Spain in 1940 fleeing from the German invasion of France and so Manuel Chaves Nogales lived on his own in London for four years whilst he continued his work as a journalist fighting against extreme right and extreme left positions. He died in 1944, when he was only 46 years old, and is buried in London.


  • Juan Belmonte, matador de toros; su vida y sus hazañas: Estampa, Madrid 1935.

Reprinted: Alianza Editorial, Madrid 1992.

  • Juan Belmonte, killer of bulls

W.W. Norton company inc. New York 1939. (English edition edited and translated by Leslie Charteris)

  • Juan Belmonte, matador de taureaux. Verdier, Lagrase, 1990.
  • A sangre y fuego. Héroes, Bestias y Mártires de España: Ercilla, Santiago de Chile 1937.

Reedited Espasa Editorial, Madrid. 2001.

  • Heroes and Beasts of Spain: Traducción a inglés, New York 1939.
  • El maestro Juan Martínez que estaba allí: Estampa 1934.

Second edition, Colección Castillejo Narrativa, Sevilla 1992. Reedited: Libros del Asteroide, Barcelona 2006.

  • The Fall on France: Editores Claudio García & Cía., Montevideo 1941.
  • La agonía de Francia: Biblioteca de Autores Sevillanos, Diputación de Sevilla 2001.
  • La ciudad, Talleres de La Voz, Sevilla 1921.
  • La ciudad, Universidad de Sevilla, colección de bolsillo 1977.
  • La ciudad, Reeditado 2005.
  • Narraciones Maravillosas y biografías ejemplares de algunos grandes hombres humildes y desconocidos: Caro Raggio, Madrid 1920.

Libros Clan A. Gráficas S.L. 1994.

  • La vuelta a Europa en avión. Un pequeño burgués en la Rusia roja: Mundo Latino

C.I.A.P., Madrid 1929.

  • La bolchevique enamorada (El amor en la Rusia roja): Esther Barcelona 1929.


(Biblioteca de Autores Sevillano, Fundación Luís Cernuda, Diputación de Sevilla) 1993.

  • María Isabel Cintas Guillen: Manuel Chaves Nogales Obra Periodística Tomos I y II

(Biblioteca de Autores Sevillano, Diputación de Sevilla) 2001.

  • César González Ruano: Memorias. Mi medio siglo se confiesa a medias (Tebas, Madrid) 1979.
  • López de Zuazo Azogar, A.: Catálogo de periodistas españoles del siglo XX: (Fundación Universidad Empresa, Madrid) 1988.
  • Andrés Trapiello: Las armas y las letras, literatura y guerra civil: (Editorial Planeta, Barcelona) 1994.
  • Xavier Pericay: Cuatro historias de la República: (Ediciones Destino, Barcelona) 2003.