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Perfidious Albion’ – Britain and the Spanish Civil War

Paul Preston
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Clapton Press Limited
Published: March 21, 2024
ISBN: 9781913693350
282 pages


This collection of essays by Paul Preston, the preeminent historian of modern Spain, falls broadly into three parts.

The book’s title reflects the first three chapters that deal with the hypocrisy and prejudice of British foreign policy towards the Spanish Republic, greatly influenced by the right-wing diplomats Norman King and Sir Henry Chilton.

Their attitude contrasts sharply with the selfless humanitarian efforts of medical personnel from across the globe, including many doctors and nurses from Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth countries whose contribution is discussed in the next two chapters.

The final two chapters assess the influence on British perceptions of the Spanish Civil War of four prominent ‘writer-historians’: George Orwell, Herbert Southworth, Burnett Bolloten and Gerald Brenan.

Essential reading for anyone interested in finding out more about the background to British attitudes to the Spanish Civil War.

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