Michael Jacobs

The Quiet Englishman

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War


I B Tauris 432pp £20 order from our bookshop

In 1940, shortly after the publication of Henry Buckley’s enormously enjoyable and revealing eyewitness account of the Spanish Republic of 1931–9, German incendiary bombs destroyed the warehouse containing all remaining unsold copies of the book. Though always acknowledged by historians as one of the best works ever written on the Spanish Civil War, it is only now, with this first reprint, that the book has been given the chance to become a popular classic.

Buckley himself, to judge from Paul Preston’s excellent short introduction, was a much loved but relatively discreet presence in the exuberant world of the foreign press corps in Spain. He had none of Hemingway’s machismo, nor was he fortunate enough to have carried off major journalistic scoops like George Steer’s reporting of the massacre of Guernica. Yet this shy-faced, softly spoken, ‘little sandy-haired man’ had a remarkable ability to adapt quietly to everything and to remain the most fair-minded of observers.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,
    • RT : Joanna Kavenna’s ‘Cooking with Trotsky’s Frying Pan’ in June’s is the most well written and interesting… ,