Tremlett, Giles

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Tremlett, Giles


Education: Graduated from Oxford University.


Home—Spain. Agent—Capel & Land, Ltd., 29 Wardour St., London W1D 6PS, England. E-mail—[email protected].


Journalist. Guardian, London, England, correspondent in Spain.


Ghosts of Spain: Travels through a Country's Hidden Past (nonfiction), Faber & Faber (London, England), 2006.

Catherine of Aragon (biography), Faber & Faber (London, England), 2008.


Giles Tremlett is an Englishman who has lived and worked as a journalist in Spain for many years. His first book, Ghosts of Spain: Travels through a Country's Hidden Past, gives a sense of the country's history and its many paradoxes, as experienced by Tremlett. He comments on the vast differences between Spanish and British traditions of childrearing —stating that Spanish children are treated as treasures, while British children have often been largely ignored by their parents—and notes that atypically, Spanish teenagers report being extremely happy with their families. Overall, the country seems to have a forward-looking attitude and to be prospering. Yet Tremlett's book also explore's Spain's dark side. During the 1930s, civil war tore at the nation; there were atrocities and massacres committed on both sides, and in the end, a dictatorship was established, with its own long list of cruel and unjust acts. Yet, once the dictatorship of Francisco Franco was abolished in the 1970s, the Spanish population as a whole seemed largely determined to forget about the past and move ahead. As more years passed and evidence of past crimes came to light—including the discovery of mass graves full of war victims—old divisions inevitably began to resurface. Tremlett offers his opinion that Spain still suffers because of her collective denial of the past several decades. He examines the philosophies and stances of various ethnic groups within Spain (such as the Basques, Catalans, and Galacians), and explores the repercussions of past war crimes and how they affect current generations. He paints a picture of the Spanish national character, including their surprising tendency to hypochondriac behavior, and their meekness in the face of medical practitioners. He also takes in recent historical events, such as the 2004 train bombing in Madrid.

"There is more sunshine than ghostliness in this vivid and sensitive book, which will interpret Spain to present-day visitors as Gerald Brenan and V.S. Pritchett did for former generations," commented Christopher Howse in the Spectator. William Grimes, writing for the New York Times, also recommended the book as "a highly informative, well-written introduction to post-Franco Spain." Library Journal contributor Linda M. Kaufmann summarized Ghosts of Spain as "a provocative and vividly written book that is part history, part political and social commentary, and part love letter."



Tremlett, Giles, Ghosts of Spain: Travels through a Country's Hidden Past, Faber & Faber (London, England), 2006.


Library Journal, February 15, 2007, Linda M. Kaufmann, review of Ghosts of Spain, p. 140.

Morning Edition, July 17, 2002, "Interview: Giles Tremlett Talks about the Arrest in Spain of Three Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives."

New York Times, February 21, 2007, William Grimes, review of Ghosts of Spain, p. 10.

New York Times Book Review, April 1, 2007, Sarah Wildman, review of Ghosts of Spain, p. 9.

Spectator, March 18, 2006, Christopher Howse, "Coming to Terms with the Past," p. 50.


Guardian Unlimited, (March 19, 2006), Jason Webster, review of Ghosts of Spain.

Life of Zhisou, (September 1, 2006), review of Ghosts of Spain., (October 2, 2007), David Cox, review of Ghosts of Spain.