Frederic Raphael

In the Caudillo’s Shadow

Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936


Chatto & Windus 320pp £25 order from our bookshop

The history of Spain is instinct with fraternal malevolence and bloody rifts. The unification of the country was achieved through the eviction of the Moors and the Jews and the distribution of their goods and property to Ferdinand and Isabella’s Christian soldiers. The myth of pura sangre gave a sense of natural entitlement to a population in whose veins the blood of expelled races was likely to remain. Modern, ideological racism began in the 15th century when Spain insisted on social and religious conformity, which was enforced by the Inquisition. The notion of freedom and tolerance was close to heresy. Spain’s rulers, secular and ecclesiastic, fostered a society in which believers prospered and dissenters went, literally, to the wall or to the stake.

Jeremy Treglown’s important, lively and appetisingly varied new book analyses at length, with a wealth of demythologising detail, the sanguinary aftermath of the Spanish Civil War of 1936–9, about which, he makes it clear, there are attitudes and memories so divergent that today’s democracy continues to suffer from sometimes violent schizophrenia. The paradigmatic moment in post-Franco Spain came

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,