Review: Tales of the Alhambra

Posted 28 February, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Tales of the Alhambra
By: Washington Irving
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Washington Irving’s dreamlike description of Spain’s Granada and the beautiful Moorish castle, the Alhambra, remains one of the most entertaining travelogues ever written. Enhanced here with exquisite Spanish guitar music, the narrative is a heady mix of fact, myth, and depictions of secret chambers, desperate battles, imprisoned princesses, palace ghosts, and fragrant gardens, described in a wistful and dreamlike eloquence, will transport listeners to a paradise of their own.

I’ve been curious about this book ever since I first came across it during my many meanderings around GoodReads. I’ve never been to Granada and the Alhambra sounds like this exotic, distant place of mystery. I recently picked this book up for my eReader and was in the mood for a bit of a travelogue 🙂 This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

Reading this book, I wished it came with images because it would really add to the descriptions of the Alhambra and the town in which Washington Irving stayed at. There’s nothing much to say about this collection, really, as for the most part it covers Irving’s time in Granada, from his time travelling to the place to the time that he departed. I really enjoyed his recollections and observations; there’s a sense of journey to them and it was interesting to read about everything that happened to him while he was there. The collection also includes tales he’s collected while he was there, which adds to the experience.

There’s nothing too much to say about this book. I enjoyed reading about Granada and Irving’s observations of the Alhambra and the festivals he participated in. I can’t say I had a particular favourite chapter in this volume, but I did especially enjoy reading his observations heading to the Alhambra and his final chapter and sentiments as he was leaving. I hope to visit the place myself one of these days 🙂

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Learn more about the author on Wikipedia || Order this book from the Book Depository

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