Notes From the Margins…

The Savage Frontier: the Pyrenees in History and the Imagination

  • December 29, 2018
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Carr follows the routes taken by monks, soldiers, poets, pilgrims, and refugees. He examines the people and events that have shaped the Pyrenees across the centuries, with a cast of characters including Napoleon, Hannibal, and Charlemagne; the eccentric British climber Henry Russell; Francisco Sabaté Llopart, the Catalan anarchist who waged a lone war against the Franco regime across the Pyrenees for years after the civil war; Camino de Santiago pilgrims; and the cellist Pablo Casals, who spent twenty-three years in exile only a few miles from the Spanish border to show his disgust and disapproval of the Spanish regime.

The Savage Frontier is a book that will spark a new awareness and appreciation of one of the most haunting, magical, and dramatic landscapes on earth.

‘…an unwaveringly colorful tapestry of a beautiful, dramatic landscape. Its inhabitants past and present—shepherds, smugglers, soldiers, spies, saints, heretics, bandits, freaks—all pass in review in this meticulously researched love letter to the Pyrenees. —Stephen O’Shea, author of The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond.

‘Matthew Carr has climbed mountains of research as well as stone to stake his claim as the premier “pyreneist” of the age.’ —Franz Nicolay, author of The Humorless Ladies of Border Control

‘… a rich, deeply researched and absorbing history, full of extraordinary and surprising tales and an impassioned sense of the unique beauty of one of Europe’s lesser-known places.’ —Roger Crowley, author of Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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