Glories of Spain by Charles W. Wood

A Review by Robert Bovington

“Glories of Spain” was published in 1901 and describes the travels and adventures of Charles W. Wood and his friends, on a trip to Spain.

Despite the book title, the party only visited the east of the country. Nevertheless it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Charles W. Wood thoroughly describes the places he visits – Gerona, Barcelona, Montserrat, Manresa, Lerida, Zaragoza, Tarragona, Poblet, Tortosa and Valencia but, more than that he provides the reader with a thoroughly entertaining dialogue of the people he meets and their stories. And what an interesting bunch! They included former sweethearts Sister Rosalie and Father Anselmo who sacrificed their love for each other for a life in the Church and the hopeful reward of life together in Heaven; Ernesto and his mother; Salvador the Monk who preferred to live in a cave than the monastery at Montserrat and Monseigneur Delormais and his world-wide travels. Then there was the downtrodden night porter and his wife Rose aka the Dragon; Quasimodo and his beautiful music; blind Nerissa and her husband Alphonse; Loretta & her donkeys and more.

The author enthuses over many of the monuments he visits and provides the reader with detailed histories of some of the places.

Surprisingly, Charles W. Wood is not well known. Very little information was to be found about him when I researched using the Internet. His mother, however, was a famous author – Mrs Henry Wood wrote over thirty novels, the most famous being East Lynn.

Charles W. Wood did write other travel books including “Letters from Majorca” and “In the Valley of the Rhone. He should not be confused with another author of the same name – an American who wrote “The Passing of Normalcy”.

In summary, “Glories of Spain” is a delightful travelogue written by an Englishman in the late 1890s.

Robert Bovington

May 2011

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About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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