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In this episode I look at the American writer, Ernest Hemingway´s relationship with Madrid and wider Spain and how Spain and the Spanish capital inspired and influenced his writing.
Ernest Hemingway is commonly associated with a handful of places around the world, most notably Paris, Pamplona, Havana, Key West and Ketchum, Idaho, where he took his own life in July 1961. But, Ernest Hemingway also had a lifelong love affair with Madrid and many of the city´s locations inspired his works such as, The Sun Also Rises, Death in the Afternoon and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Don Ernesto, as Hemingway was affectionately called by the Spanish, spent numerous stints in Madrid. He was here for chunks of the late 1920s, late 1930s, and parts of the 1950s, with his last visit in 1960.
Joining me in this episode to help trace Hemingway´s footsteps around Madrid is Stephen Drake-Jones. Stephen is a historian, lecturer and tour guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of various periods of Spanish history and is also an expert on Ernest Hemingway´s Madrid.
Stephen and I met up in one of Ernest Hemingway´s favourite Madrid hangouts – La Cerveceria Alemana – on the leafy Plaza Santa Ana and we pulled up two chairs at the exact table in the bar´s window where Hemingway often used to sit and drink. In fact it is where he gleaned much information for his classic, Death in the Afternoon. He wrote the appendix to the book in La Cerveceria Alemana, picking the brains of the numerous bullfighting aficionados who would hang out there.