Posts Tagged ‘Spanish Civil War’

  1. New Blood for the Republic: the Spanish Civil War, eighty years on

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    September 6, 2016 by Lydia Syson

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    80th anniversary commemorations and conferences have been taking place up and down this country as well as Spain to mark the Spanish Civil War, initiated by a right-wing military coup in July 1936, followed by Franco’s long dictatorship.  It’s a measure of just how involved Britain was in the conflict which many see as a rehearsal for World War Two.  Giving a paper myself about the evolution of my YA novel A World Between Us at the fascinating ‘Spanish Civil War in World Literature’ conference at London’s School of Advanced Studies, I mentioned the iBook edition which was put together in 2012 with the generous help of vast numbers of archives and libraries in the UK and US (thanks here). The image above of a young female anti-fascist donating blood to be sent to the front lines for wounded Republican soldiers was provided by the London School of Economics. The iBook keep reading


  2. 31st March 2016: Children and Socialism series, Marx Memorial Library, London

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    March 8, 2016 by Lydia Syson

    MML6

    New Ways to Tell Old Stories: putting the political into historical fiction for today’s young readers

    Lydia Syson and Meirian Jump in conversation at the home of the International Brigade archives.

    Lydia, a former BBC World Service radio producer, is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels for young adults. A World Between Us (2012) tells the story of three British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. Sparked by research into the anthem of the International Brigades, Liberty’s Fire (2015) brings the 1871 Paris Commune dramatically to life for a new generation. That Burning Summer (2013) is set during the Battle of Britain in small rural community where spyfever is infectious and pacifism a dirty word. Lydia and Meirian will discuss hidden histories, unexpected heroes, archives and sources, and the ethics of turning real lives into fiction.  All welcome.  No need to book. £3 on the door.

    March 31st, 2016 7:00 PM 
    Marx Memorial Library
    37A Clerkenwell Green
    London
    EC1R 0DU
    United Kingdom
    Phone: 020 725 31485

  3. Happy ‘Nu’ Year

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    January 6, 2016 by Lydia Syson

    PracticalHouseholder

    My New Year’s resolution should possibly be to work out how to exert better control over my headline images on WordPress…In fact, instead of website improvement, I’ve been preoccupied with 1950s home improvement at The History Girls this month, where I wonder if that whole decade wasn’t one big cover-up.  The post - The Mastery of Knack - was inspired by a Christmas present, a copy of The Practical Householder of October 1956. keep reading


  4. Conscience and Conflict

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    March 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

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    A ground-breaking exhibition exploring British artists’ many and varied responses to the Spanish Civil War transfers tomorrow from Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.  On The History Girls today I’ve blogged about the show and the accompanying book by Simon Martin, which is also excellent.  Henry Moore’s lithograph Spanish Prisoner (above – see below for details) was made to raise money for the thousands of Spanish refugees held in detention camps in France – almost as many as had already been killed in combat, and as many again as were executed by Franco’s regime after the war.  The outbreak of World War Two intervened: Camberwell School of Art shut with Moore’s work trapped inside and there were no funds to pay the printer. Moore later returned to the theme in three-dimensional form. keep reading


  5. Find out more about the background to A WORLD BETWEEN US

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    March 1, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    There have been about 15,000 books written in English about the Spanish Civil War – twice that many in Spanish, and more are published every month in Spain.

    Here I’ve listed some of the books that influenced me most keep reading


  6. School visits: bonus time

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    September 18, 2014 by Lydia Syson

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    There’s something particularly satisfying about reading creative work that’s been produced by students after a school visit.  Last summer I went to talk to a group of Year 9 girls at Streatham and Clapham High School, who were – most impressively – finding out about the Spanish Civil War in Spanish.  I thought it was such an imaginative approach to learning a language, and it was fantastic to meet students so engaged with the history and culture of Spain.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to give my talk in Spanish. Even better, the project led to some wonderful pieces of writing in English, the best of which – by Anna and Lulu – you can read below.  keep reading


  7. Len Crome Memorial Lecture 2014: Taking Sides

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    March 2, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    Hora de Espana magazine cover

    The Spanish Civil War ‘gripped the imagination of a generation’, said Valentine Cunningham this weekend at Taking Sides: Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War.  To judge from the huge and variously-aged turnout at the event, not to mention the responses I’ve had from young readers of my own novel on the subject, it will continue to do so for several generations to come.   keep reading


  8. Journey to Hill 481

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    October 1, 2013 by Lydia Syson

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    Last week’s experience of visiting some of the settings for key events in A World Between Us was extremely powerful. It’s certainly a strange sensation to go to a real place for the first time after having imagined it so intensely and for so long. These are all places of real and terrible tragedies, yet hope and idealism are equally significant elements in their histories.   keep reading


  9. Dying for dreams

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    January 24, 2013 by Lydia Syson

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    Numbers on labels, pinned to the soil.  A handful of molars in a plastic bag. The riverine meanders of sutures running across a cranium, joining frontal to parietal bones, temporal to occipital.  They are transected by a fracture, leading from a bullet hole. keep reading


  10. Spanish Civil War songs

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    September 27, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    LBC song book cover

    You can hear different versions of nearly all the songs in A World Between Us on YouTube.  Many of these videos include evocative archive images of the Spanish Civil War. Print out song sheets for The Internationale and The Peat Bog Soldiers from the Hot Key Books website.

    keep reading


"an outstanding debut novel for teenagers" THE GUARDIAN

"a fantastic historical fiction debut" THE BOOKSELLER

"a novel of extraordinary resonance and power" ARMADILLO

"a compelling story of politics and passion, bravery and love" BOOKTRUST

'the writing is powerful, the events terrifying' THE BOOKBAG

'Highly recommended' BOOKS FOR KEEPS

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