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Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan, CBE (1894–1987) was a British writer and Hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain.

He is best known for The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background to the Spanish Civil War, and for South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalusian Village. He was awarded a CBE in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List in 1982.

Gerald Brenan
G. Brenan
He was born in Malta into a well-off Anglo-Irish family, while his father was serving there in the British Army. He was educated at Radley, a boarding school in England, which he hated due to the bullying he endured. His autographical works make it clear that he did not enjoy a good relationship with his father.
House of Yegen

At the age of 18, and to spite his father who wanted him to train at Sandhurst, he set off with an older friend, the occasional photographer and eccentric, John Hope-Johnstone, to walk to China. Between August 1912 and January 1913 they walked 1,560 miles, reaching Bosnia before lack of money made them turn back. He spent the next 10 months in Germany learning the language, surprisingly in preparation for joining the Indian Police Service. This plan was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. He immediately joined the British Army and served in France throughout the war. After the war, Hope-Johnstone introduced him to the Bloomsbury Group.

In 1919 he settled in Spain, in the small village of Yegen, in the Alpujarras district of the province of Granada. He spent his time catching up on the education which he felt he had missed by not attending university, and in writing. An important factor in his moving to Spain was his calculation that his small income would go further there. Despite the remoteness of his new home, contacts with Bloomsbury continued, particularly with Dora Carrington, the wife of his best friend Ralph Partridge. In the late 1920s he formed a relationship with his maid, Juliana Martin Pelegrina, that resulted in the birth of a daughter, Miranda Helen, in 1931.

In Dorset in 1930 he met the American poet and novelist Gamel Woolsey (1895–1968); they married in Rome in 1931. During the Spanish Civil War and for many years afterwards they lived in Aldbourne in Wiltshire. Brenan was permitted to return to Spain in 1953 despite holding views which were critical of Franco´s regime. He spent most of the remainder of his life in Alhaurín el Grande, Málaga. In 1984 he was moved in controversial circumstances to a nursing home in Pinner, but he returned to Spain after the authorities there made special arrangements to provide him with the nursing care on which he depended.

Source of the text: Wikipedia.

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