Legge’s knowledge of Mallorca dates from 1952. She presents a
frequently hilarious narrative but her book also incorporates descriptions
of virtually every place of interest on the island.
Her portrayals of the
towns and scenic attractions are strictly factual and not all of them are
flattering, but her love for the country and its people is always evident. For a short
time she worked as an assistant to Robert Graves and he later loaned her a
house on the northern coast of Majorca for her honeymoon. Some of his
letters to her are reproduced in the book and they provide a unique insight
into the caring and considerate aspects of the complex character of the
descriptions of visits to many fairs and fiestas which continue to take
place as they have done for hundreds of years. Many have religious origins
but others commemorate historic occasions and a few just provide an
opportunity for the inhabitants of a town to enjoy themselves. Every visitor
will wish to see at least one of these events which are not widely
publicised because they are a genuine part of the culture of the island and
are not staged as tourist attractions.
well-written descriptions of agriculture, flora and fauna and the historical
comments go far beyond the scope of a typical guide book,. There is an
excellent chapter on food and wine which provides extensive details of the
ingredients that are used in Majorcan cooking and even the grape varieties
and techniques used for wine production.
issues such as obtaining a driving licence, having the car tested and
managing construction work are the subject of some very witty descriptions
which, nevertheless, contain a mass of useful information for those
intending to spend their retirement in the sun.
million tourists visit the island every year, but many will return home
without seeing more than the airport, their hotel and the local beach.
However, the pattern of tourism is tending to drift away from the simple
seaside holiday and agrotourism is providing an increasing number of beds in
converted manor houses and other interesting buildings in the countryside.
The book satisfies the demand for more information about the real Mallorca
that extends beyond the holiday resorts.
The book also contains a
listing of the major
fiestas and other annual events plus a history of Mallorca.
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