29 Oct, 2014 @ 15:16
1 min read

British writer Gerald Brenan’s home rescued from ruin to become country’s first expat museum

THE home of one of Spain’s most famous expat writers is to be inaugurated as a museum, after being rescued from the verge of collapse.

Gerald Brenan – whose books South from Granada and the Spanish Labyrinth have become international best-sellers – will be honoured by the museum at his home in Churriana.

Just seven years ago, the house – named Queen of Los Angeles – was in ruins, with tiles falling off the roof and most of the windows kicked in.

But following extensive renovation it will now be opened to the public on October 29.

The museum and research centre is the first in the country dedicated solely to foreigners that began arriving in Andalucia in the 19th century.

Visited by Ernest Hemingway and Bertrand Russell – among other famous writers – Brenan bought the house on Calle Torremolinos in 1934 for just £1,200, after he married poet Gamel Woolsey and left the mountain region of La Alpujarra.

Brenan sold the house for three million pesetas (just over €18,000) in 1969, when he moved up to a house in Alhaurin el Grande, where he would eventually die in 1987 aged 93.

Brenan’s first book, The Spanish Labyrinth (1943), set in the civil war, was immediately recognised as the most perceptive study of modern Spain to be published by a British writer.

Now buried in the celebrated British cemetery in Malaga, Brenan was hailed in The Times as ‘a gifted writer whose best books arose from his lifelong concern with Spain’.

Imogen Calderwood

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