- We’re working on an online booking system. For the time being, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
- Guide Nick Lloyd or Catherine Howley
- Length: 2 hours
- Cost: 15 euros
- Small groups (maximum 16 persons)
- Interactive: ability to ask questions at different points during the talk.
- Rarely seen photos and images
- Use of original and unique objects from the war from the collection of the Walking Museum of the Spanish Civil War
- Google street view incorporated
Homage to Catalonia
Guide: Nick Lloyd
George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is almost certainly the most widely read account of the Spanish Civil War in English. It is a brilliantly written memoir of his experiences, accompanied, sentence after sentence, by acute personal observations and sharp if sometimes flawed political analysis. The tour takes you on his journey from the small Hertfordshire village of Wallington to revolutionary Barcelona and on to fighting with the POUM militia on the Aragón front. Returning to Barcelona we’ll discuss his role in the leftist infighting called the May Days and how he later escaped from the Stalinist-influenced police. Returning to Britain, we’ll talk about the book’s publishing history and impact, and how Orwell’s time in Catalonia and Aragón greatly shaped his future writing. We’ll end by considering how much of his political analysis of the conflict stands up to today’s historical understanding.
Talk 2: The International Brigades
Guide: Nick Lloyd
The 1930s saw the spread of fascism and rightwing autoritraiansm across Europe. The Spanish Civil War represented a rallying cry for a generation that here the tide could perhaps be stopped. Over 35,000 volunteers from fifty-two countries came to defend the Spanish Republic against Franco and his allies. This virtual walk and talk takes you on a journey around the story of the International Brigades, visiting the bloody battlegrounds of Jarama, Belchite and the Ebro. We’ll talk about their cultural and political origins in the European diaspora, and specifically the July 1936 People’s Olympiad in Barcelona. We’ll discuss how although their motivations may well have been complex, the overarching reason for their coming to fight for the Spanish Republic was anti-fascism. After Spain, those from Continental Europe faced an often grim fate in a universe of camps, while others played a very significant role in the partisan resistance movements. While British volunteers tended to be welcomed as heroes, American and Canadians faced the anti-communist backlash from their states. Conversely, in Eastern Europe many attained key roles in the new Stalinist states, above all in the GDR. These different forms of treatment has meant the legacy of the IBs varies significantly from country to country.
Reading and media for Homage to Catalonia
- Homage to Catalonia (Wikipedia)
- Looking back on the Spanish War essay by George Orwell (1943)
- As I please by George Orwell. Column published in Tribune (15 September 1944)
- My guidebook Forgotten Places: Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War is available in print and on Kindle. It includes about 20 pages on Orwell (out of total of 400 pages)
- Lights and shadows in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. (2017, PDF) Paul Preston’s ferocious critique of Homage to Catalonia
- With the POUM International volunteers on the Aragon Front ( 2018, PDF) By Andy Durgan. Excellent article
- George Orwell’s Commander in Spain: The Enigma of Georges Kopp by Marc Wildemeersch (2013)
- Eileen: The Making of George Orwell by Sylvia Topp (2020)– book review in The New Statesman
- The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 -book review in The Guardian
- David Crook. The man who spied on Orwell in Barcelona (Wikipedia)
- VIDEO: George Orwell BBC Arena Part 3 Homage to Catalonia (YouTube). Made in 1983
- AUDIO: BBC Radio 4 – Bookclub, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia
- Tour in Spanish George Orwell en Aragón. Routes in Spanish by Aragonese Orwell expert Victor Pardo. –Centro de Interpretación de la Guerra Civil en Aragón. In the village of Robres.
Other upcoming virtual tours with Nick Lloyd or Catherine Howley
- Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (Nick)
- The International Brigades (Nick)
- The Republican exile (Nick)
- Women in the Spanish Civil War (Catherine)
- A history of Anarchist Barcelona (Catherine)
- Guernika the atrocity, Guernica the painting (Nick)
- Artistic visions of the Spanish Civil War (Catherine)
- Life in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War (Nick)
- Spain 1939 (Nick)
- Working class history and Civil War in Nick’s neighborhood of Poble-sec (Nick)