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Enjoying Mallorca

By Pamela Legge 

Illustrated with 48 line drawings by Claire Baker 




Pamela 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 poet.

   There are 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.

   The 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.

   Practical 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.

   Around six 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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