Books about Mallorca

The best list  for books about Majorca on the net?


96 Minireviews

Here are books on Mallorca and Spain. It is a personal choice of books that have given me information and inspiration as well as pure reading pleasure. Feel free to send your own favourites:

Some of the books are still in print and can be found on the net for example at  Amazon. Out of print books can be found at abe books or Amazon and also at Ebay. On Majorca I have used The Bookworm, Paseo del Mar, 32 in Palma Nova, T: 971 682 325.

A new source for books  is Books4Spain which stocks almost every book about Spain still in print.  


(1) Landscapes of Mallorca. Valerie Crespi-Green, Sunflower Books, London, ISBN 1856912043.

This is an excellent book if you want to walk on Mallorca. It is perhaps not for the experienced walker but for the rest of us. There are long and short walks and even car trips. It can be updated on the net and Valerie has given her personal telephone number!

(2) BREAD & OIL: Majorcan cultures last stand. Tomás Graves, The University of Wisconsin Press, ISBN 0-299-17990-7.

The author of this book is son to the famous Robert Graves (I Claudius) Born and raised on Mallorca. That the gift of writing is hereditary is quite obvious (more of Robert Graves children will appear on this site). This book was first published in Catalan under the title "Volem Pa Amb Oli", give us bread and oil, and later translated in English. It is a tale of the Mallorcan spirit disguised as a book on food, pa amb oli the basic food on this island. Toasted farmers bread with salt and olive oil sometimes rubbed with sun dried tomatoes. This is an essential book for knowing Majorca. Recommended reading


(3) FINCA: Renovating an Old Farmhouse in Spain. Alec and Erna Fry, Santana Books, ISBN 84-89954-24-7.

An extensive book for anyone interested in renovating an old finca. It takes you step by step through the whole process. There is also an internet site  Fincabook with a forum. Recommended reading



(4) Catalan-English/English-Catalan Concise Dictionary. Hippocrene Books, ISBN 0-7818-0099-4 och
(5) Catalan Dictionary. Routledge, ISBN 0-415-10802-0.

I have not found any Mallorquin/English dictionary. But these two covers the essential.


(6) Folk Tales of Mallorca, Mossèn Antoni M. Alcover. Editorial Moll 1999. ISBN84-273-0822-1

The author was born  1862 in Santa Carga near Manacor. He was ordained as a priest in1882. He never lost touch with his rural past and he was very fond of the Mallorquin folklore  (Rondaies) which he collected. They were later published in several volumes under the title L'Aplec de Rondaies Mallorquines. The tales are amusing often with a moral twist.

(7) A Woman Unknown, Voices from a Spanish life, Lucia Graves. Virago ISBN 1-86049-553-2

This book is also by one of the children of Robert Graves (I Claudius) raised on Majorca (more of Robert Graves children will appear on this site). That the gift of writing is hereditary is here obvious. She writes about her childhood on Majorca and gives us portraits of different women she meet all full of deep insight. It is a picture of Majorca and Barcelona from the time of Franco until now. Recommended reading.

(8) Wild Olives: Life in Majorca with Robert Graves, William Graves .  Pimlico. ISBN: 0712601163.

This is yet another child of Robert Graves (I Claudius) and another proof that the gift of writing is hereditary. He was five years old when he arrived in Majorca with his father. He grew up in a society which had changed little during the last centuries. He gives a living picture of his daily life with friends and his father. there is also a warm portrait of his mother   Beryl Graves who died in the autumn of 2003(1,2). William is now the keeper of Robert Graves literary inheritance. Recommended reading


(9) Birds in Mallorca, John Busby. Christopher Helm 1988, ISBN 0-7470-0208-8

This is a book by the well known painter John Busby and is dedicated to the Mallorquin group Grup Balear d'Ornitologia i Defensa de la Naturalesa which is very active in protecting the nature of Mallorca . It is filled with beautiful watercolours of birds and nature. A favourite of mine is the Hoopoe (Upupa epops) common on my part of this island. 041105

(10) A Birdwatching Guide to Mallorca, Graham Hearl. Arlequin Press 2002. ISBN 0952201976

For the reader of the book above and for everyone interested in bird watching this is an excellent guide. Albufera with surroundings takes a large part  of the book but the whole island is well covered.

(11) Mediterranean Gardening, A Waterwise Approach, Heidi Gildemeister. University of California Press, 2002 ISBN 0520236475

A beautifully illustrated book with practical solutions for summer-dry climates. there is more than one thousand plants covered in the index. A must for gardening on Mallorca.


(12) Plants of the Balearic Islands,  Anthony Bonner. Editorial Moll 1985. ISBN 84-273-0423-4

Quote from the prologue: This book is intended for the general public. Its purpose is to help the beginner find his way. It is for the hiker, the amateur botanist, the nature lover, or the ordinary person who wants to know what he's seeing when he strolls through the woods. It's a book to take with you into the country rather than to place on the bookshelf. That's why we've included numerous illustrations and photographs. A second purpose in writing this book one both more personal and, at the time of writing, less conscious was to explain to myself the singular and yet varied beauty of the Balearic landscape. 041213

(13) Majorca, Culture and Life. Hammer, Oliver and Schauhoff Konemann 2000 ISBN 3829025971

This book is a comprehensive work with major sections on Majorca’s six geographical areas with short essays (and lots of pictures) describing the history, food, customs, and sights. Typical Majorcan recipes are included. It covers the entire island and not just the touristy places. Recommended reading 041214

(14) The Naturalist in Majorca, James D. Parrak. David & Charles 1973. ISBN 0 7153 5948 7

Majorca's magnificent scenery is not only easily accessible, but offers a wide variety of habitats for plant and animal life. This book provides a clear and informed introduction to the flowering and nonflowering plants, insects, mammals and birds, with the necessary information on the island's geology and climate. on the island's seasonal variations and on the localities for watching particular species. 041214

(15) Memories of Mallorca, Bessie D. Becket. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, 1947.

This is a charming book about Mallorca in the years before the civil war. The author and her husband rent a cottage in Soller for some years. She pictures the "natives" from an English perspective but with great love. We can now only find fragments of that time, but the friendliness from its people is still there. 050110


(16) A Cottage in Majorca, Lady Sheppard. Skeffington & Son Ltd. 1936

After a long search the author finds a house in the village Son Dichosa (the happy village) in a valley near Soller. The name of the village is probably her own invention, as I have not found it on the map. After reading the book you can sympathise with her wish to keep this paradise for her self. Her description of all the aspects of daily life in the nineteen thirties before the arrival of mass tourisms is still relevant for the understanding of Majorca today.  050114 

(17) Jogging Round Majorca, Gordon West. Black Swan 1994. ISBN 0 552 99601 7

Jogging in the 1920s meant a leisurely progress rather than the physical effort of today. This book is an account of an adventure, an escape from a rainy London to an island very few tourists had heard of in those days. The author and his partner, "the Spirit", travels round Majorca on foot, on mule or by train. You can still retrace most of their journey and although much is changed Mallorca's natural beauty and its people are still the same. This book was first published in 1929 and after it was read on Radio 4  by Leonard Percy a re-print came in 1994. 050201

(18) Majorca Observed, Robert Graves & Paul Hogarth. Cassell 1965.

The author Robert Graves spent a large part of his life in Majorca. Although most of his writing was performed on this island it was not until Paul Hogarth made a series of drawings of the Majorcan scene that Graves complemented them with stories and essays on life in Majorca. In the first chapter he gives his reasons for living in Majorca dated 1953 with a postscript dated 1965 in which he gives a concerned view of modern development in the island. His analysis of  George Sands (A Winter in Majorca) resentment of the people of Majorca is very interesting. Recommended reading 050201

(19) A Home in Majorca. A practical guide to the traditional house and rural life, Tomás Graves. La Forada, 1998. ISBN 84-7651-670-3

This is the essential bible for anyone living in the Majorcan countryside. Graves covers topics from whitewashing to water rights, from neighbourly relations to garden pests and it contains a twenty-page English-Catalan glossary and pronunciation guide. The book is also a joy to read like his other book, Bread & Oil: Majorcan cultures last stand. Recommended reading! 050223

Winter in Majorca(20) Winter in Majorca, George Sand. Translated and annotated by Robert Graves. Valldemosa Edition 1956.

In the winter of 1838-39, Chopin and George Sand (the pen name of Aurore, Baronne Dudevant, a well-known novelist and Chopin's friend, companion, and lover) came to Majorca to improve the health of her child. Years later she wrote this book. Her writing about the beauty of the Majorcan nature is fascinating but when she writes about every thing else Mallorcan the text is full of acid. The analysis and comments by Robert Graves try to explain the reason for this aggression. Judging from his letters it seems that Chopin quite enjoyed living at the monastery in Valldemosa and he created wonderful music there. In spite of her trashing of everything Majorcan her book is heavily used to promote Valldemosa! 050310

(21) Gardening in Spain, Marcelle Pitt. Ediciones Santana, S.L. 1997. ISBN 84-921229-8-6

Your basic tool for successful gardening in Spain. How to plan your garden, what to plant, when and how to plant it, how to make the most of flowers, trees, shrubs, herbs. 050310

(22) What Price Mallorca, Percy Waxman. Farrar & Rinehart Inc. 1933.

A travel book from the early 30s, full of American enthusiasm. It is great fun to read about his experiences meeting the local people as well as the "estranger". It ends with recipes of local food. You can say that this is nostalgia, but I think that this book has something to say about Mallorca even today. 050326


(23) Mallorca the Magnificent, Nina Larrey Duryea. The Century Co. 1927.

A very romantic view on the history of Mallorca and its palaces and country houses. A report of an American “grand tour” to this island. It is however fun to read as a “time capsule” from the beginning of the last century 050330


(24) Beloved Majorcans. Guy de Forestier, translation by Tomás Graves, La Forada 1997. ISBN 84-7651-654-1

This book tries to explain the character of the Majorcan people. It is based on the information gleaned from the anecdotes and personal experiences of more than a hundred historians, anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, writers and members of the clergy. The pseudonym Guy de Forestier is derived from the Majorcan term "guia de forasters" meaning guide for the outsider. The person responsible for assembling all this information in this most entertaining and educating book is the architect Carlos García-Delgado, Catalan by birth and Majorcan by adoption. After reading this book you will be much better prepared for a life on Majorca! Recommended reading 050507

(25) Man and the Windmills, Balearic Islands. Alejandro Garcia Llinás. Institut  Balear de Promotió del Turisme, 1999. ISBN 84-930748-0-2

The typical windmills of Majorca is among the first things you see when leaving the  Palma airport .  Perhaps you do not know that these water pumping windmills was designed to drain the marshland (Es Pla de Sant Jordi) there the present airport, Son Sant Joan, now is situated. The first of these mills was designed by Pablo Bouvy de Schorremberg in 1847. It was not until later that they were used to irrigate this fertile land. In this little book you will find the history behind the water mill and the flour mill. It is full of information for anyone interested in the cultural history of Majorca. 050604 

(26) Rails Through Majorca. Giles Barnabe. Plateway Press, 2003. ISBN  1- 871980-51-8

This book provides historical information on all the island's railways, descriptions of their routes and, for the lines still open, summarises developments over the last 10 years. Alongside the historical details, there are chapters devoted to the motive power and rolling stock, methods of train working, timetables and there is a full description of each line. 050630

(27) Majorca Living. Gloria Torrens Ferrer, photo Pere Planells. DuMont Buchverlag, 2001. ISBN 3-7701-7121-7

This book is filled with over 350 brilliant photographs illustrating the beautiful countryside as well as many of the delectable buildings of the island. It shows a very modern Mallorca roted in old traditions. The emphasis is on the interior design of both old and modern houses. 050704

(28) Illustrated Guide to Majorca. José Costa Ferrer. Galerias Costa, 1953.

A classical illustrated guide from the fifties. As its full title says “Illustrated guide to Majorca, its natural beauties, its cathedral and churches, its palaces and courtyards, its customs and archaeology”. It has 550 “art photographs, illustrations, maps and plans. Although it is more than fifty years of age, I think it very interesting to compare today’s Mallorca with the text and pictures in this book 050722

(29) Snowball Oranges: A Winter's Tale on a Spanish Isle, Peter Kerr. Summersdale, 2000. ISBN: 1-84024-112-8
(30) Mañana, Mañana: One Mallorcan Summer, Peter Kerr. Summersdale, 2001. ISBN: 1-84024-163-2

These two books tell us how Peter Kerr and his family gave up their lives in Scotland for the life as a orange farmer on Majorca. All this without any knowledge of how to grow oranges! A rather unlikely story that is. It is however fun to read about their problems and the interaction with the locals. The logical conclusion after reading these books is that it is easier to make a living writing books in the spirit of  Peter Mayles (A year in Provence) than growing oranges. 050727

(31) Majorca. Henry C. Shelley. Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1926.

This book opens with a thorough account of the Majorcan history. Then comes a account of present day (1920’s) Majorca with a stress on the historical background for places, villages, churches and buildings. A person with an interest in history can find a lot of interesting information here. 050801

(32) The Shout and Other Stories. Robert Graves. Penguin Books, 1978. ISBN 0-1400-4832-4

A collection of short stories divided in three sections. The first is English stories, the second Roman stories and the last is Majorcan stories. He wrote the first story in 1924 and the last in 1962. The author assures us that most of them are true! The stories from Mallorca are most entertaining but all bears the mark of a master. Recommended reading 050810

(33) Mallorcas Küsten aus der Luft. Bartomeu Amengual Gomila. Planeta, 1996. ISBN 84-08-01821-3

A book with aerial photographs covering the entire coast of Mallorca. The photography is high quality with great detail. The text is in German. A book to recommend if you plan to live near the coast. It can also be of use for the tourist who wants to check the travel agency’s description with reality. 050823

(34) Majorcan Holiday. S. P. B. Mais and Gillian Mais. Alvin Redman Ltd., 1960.

The author and his wife Gillian give a most enjoyable day-to-day account of their experiences during their journey from London to Majorca and back. The intimate record of the proceedings makes very good reading and you must be impressed by the amount of drinks the author can take. Another thread is his reading and contemplating over the classical book on Majorca by Santiago Rusiñol “ The Tranquil Isle”. They are glowing in the praise of Majorca as a place to spend a holiday or indeed a lifetime! 050827

(35) Motoring in Spain. Brian J Deller. Brian J Deller Publishing, 2004. ISBN 8460796175

If you are intent on staying longer periods on Majorca a rented car can be costly. Whether you are bringing your own car or plan to buy a Spanish car there are many thing you need to know. This book contains the necessary information and it has got its own site for the updating of current laws and regulations. 050831

(36) Murder begets murder. Roderic Jeffries. St. Martin's Press, 1979. ISBN 0-312-55288-2

The author has written several detective novels with inspector Alvarez as the hero. The stage is usually the English community on Mallorca but their is also a portrayal of a different everyday Mallorca. The plots are entertaining and intricate and this book is no exception.   050909

(37) Mallorca: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides, London ISBN 1858287030.

A good guide book with lots of information. 



(38) Majorca. Ann Hoffman. David & Charles, 1978. ISBN 0-7153-7492-3

This book was intended to be a thorough presentation of the history of Majorca up to the present time (the seventies) with a view on administration, industry and island life today. According to the author a lot of the text was pruned by the publisher leaving a more basic product. 050924  

(39) Majorca Sketchbook. Claude Montgomery. Published by the author, 19??.

Claude Montgomery (1912-1990) was a well-known painter from Main, USA. His subjects were landscape and marine but he is best known as a portrait painter of among others John F. Kennedy. In this sketchbook he has collected motifs from Majorca with accompanying text. 050926

(40) The Bloody Bokhara. George Scott. Eyelevel Books, 2000. ISBN1-902528-08-5

The hero of the book is the authors alter ego Will Stock, proud part-owner of Stock's Hotel alias Scott's Hotel in Binissalem.  He is not shy in praising the hotel which has a good reputation. Will is a classical sleuth with a lot of irony and the book is rich in background information on Majorca. 050929

(41) Enjoying Majorca. Pamela Legge. C G Baker & Associates, 1995. ISBN 0-906635-21-7

The author fist came to Majorca 1952 there she met Robert Graves and she worked as his assistant for a short time. Graves also later loaned her a house for her honeymoon. She returned permanently in 1985. She gives a vivid picture of the complex procedure to build a new house on the island. There is also descriptions of the many fairs and fiestas, so that you want to see at least one of them. There are also chapters on  fauna and flora as well as on food and wine. A very personal guide to Majorca. 051015

(42) The Tranquil Isle. Santiago Rusiñol. Translation Mary Lake. Editorial Baleares, 1958. (first published in Catalan 1922)

Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931) was a great writer, play writer and artist. He was one of the most active developers of "Art Noveau". For a period he worked on Majorca there he painted George Sand's garden in Valldemosa. He wrote this book ,"La Isla De La Calma", as a tribute to Majorca's ability to calm the soul. " She alone can so delight the eye and give consolation to the spirit; can heal the sickness of of sorrow or dispel the evils of living to quickly; or cure the hysterical an restless. - - no place like this for being able to forget what the hour is, yet realizing how much one is alive. Here alone can one find a hospital for the soul.". In spite of the exploitation of today, I still think that his statement is valid. Recommended reading 051106

(43) Mallorca aus der Luft. Polar Film + Medium GmbH, 2002.

This DVD film shows Majorca from an unusual perspective. It is filmed from an helicopter. During the flight along the entire coastline you will recognise your favourite beaches. There is also fantastic gorges, villages and mountains. A lot of bonus material is also included. 051210

(44) Robert Graves: Life on the Edge. Miranda Seymour. Henry Holt and Co., Inc, 1995. ISBN 0-8050-3055-7

This is a biography over the literary giant of Majorca, the poet and author Robert Graves, perhaps the finest love poet of our age. He stands out as a very complex person who's life is reflected in everything he wrote from the trenches of Great War in "Goodbye to All That" to his love poetry. Majorca was a centre in his life from 1930 to his death in 1985, with a break for the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. He left wife and four children in England to live with the poet Laura Riding. They build a new house in Deia which they named Canelluñ. In 1940 he met Beryl and they had four children, three of them can be found in this list of books. They returned to Deia in 1946 there he in time was appointed honorary citizen. 060102

(45) Murder in Majorca. Paul Tabori. Consul Books, 1961.

A British Secret Service agent on holiday on Majorca meets a mysterious heroine after a man falls from the sky. And then it takes you across the olive-groves, the hidden serene coves and arid mountains to a final in the Palma bullring. This is a story in the spirit of the sixties. 060115


(46) Walk & Eat Mallorca.Valerie Crespi-Green, Sunflower Books, London, 2006. ISBN 1-85691-279-5

Valerie Crespi-Green is well known for her book Landscapes of Mallorca. In her new book she is combining waking with food. There are recommended restaurants associated with the different walks and recipes provided by the same restaurants. The facts can be updated at the publishers site, Sunflower Books, there you also make your own comments and advice. Recommended 060521


(47) Guide of Majorca. J. Escalas. Editor Escalas, 1960.

A classical guide to Majorca translated to many languages. It is profusely illustrated and can be used alongside a modern guide book to fully appreciate the changes to this lovely island during the last half-century. 060606


(48) Mallorca. Antonio Campañá & Juan Puig-Ferrán. Postales Color CYP. 1984. ISBN 84-398-2812-8

A photographic journey around Majorca 060607



(49) Stories of Majorca. An anthology of Majorcan writing translated into English by Jehane West and Molly Mackenzie. Graficas Miramar, 1961.

The Majorcan literature is a branch of Catalan literature. After a medieval flowering it was repressed by the Castilian political dominance. It started to recover in the first half of the nineteenth century with a new repression during Franco. This anthology gives a good view of this "renaissance". 060724


(50) Moving to Majorca. Robert F. Burgess. Writers Club Press, 2001. ISBN 0-595-09058-3

A modern version of "Winter in Majorca by George Sand". The author and his bride sets out for a honeymoon journey on a Lambretta scooter from Milano to Majorca. Moving into a house at Cala Major for the winter they learn how to survive paradise one day at a time. The story is full of helpful an humorous characters. One of the highlights is a fishing journey with a small local trawler there they share accommodation and food with the crew. The picture of the local population is the opposite of George Sand's and in tune with my own. 060804


(51) Majorca, Paradise Not Lost. Living the dream on a Spanish island.  Chuck Maisel. iUniverse, Inc. 2005. ISBN 0-595-36022-X

A wonderful and charming memoir from the fifties when the author and his friend Caroll spent two years on Majorca. His ambition was to write the "Great American Novel!" and Caroll the new Picasso. Even if they did not fulfil these dreams this book is hard to put down and at the same time you do not want it to end. The characters are a captivating cast of famous authors, painters and a Swedish moviestar. The most cherished are however the island natives like Margarita who manage their household. Recommended. 060810

(52)The Oxford-Duden Pictorial Spanish and English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 1995. ISBN 0198645155

This dictionary identifies over 29,000 objects by means of numbered illustrations, offering at a glance their Spanish and English terms. It has been revised and updated to reflect the latest changes in science, technology, medicine and commerce, and other major fields of reference. This dictionary is very handy when you are building or refurbishing a house in Spain. Recommended. 060829

(53) Wandering Among Forgotten Isles. Jesse Metcalf. J. H. Sears & Company, Inc. 1927

This is the story about a wealthy American businessman who decides to make an expedition to Majorca and other islands nearby islands.  He buys a commercial sailing ship in England and rebuild it for the journey. They pick up a scientist in Monaco and sets of for Majorca. They collect birds and fishes by shooting and dynamiting. Not very correct today but this was eighty years ago. The local population is portraited with warmth (nothing new there!). The story is coloured by the time period but lively and funny. 060902

(54)  Majorca. Luis Diez del Corral. Translator M. Byrne. George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1962.

This is no ordinary travel book. The author describes Majorca's geography and the life of its people in all its variety in eloquent, at times lyrical prose, sharing his own unique vision of this island. 060922


(55) Majorca, The Diary of a Painter. Francis Caron. Cassell and Company Ltd., 1938.

This book is the diary of a young artist who lived in Majorca for some time just before the Spanish civil war. In this diary he tells frankly and simply the story of his life on the island up to the moment of his first real love. It is filled with the drawings he made of the towns, villages, landscapes and the people of the island and the girls who sat for him. He moves between the locals and the jet set of the Club. This is for all who have ever dreamed of an island bliss! 070329

(56) The Story of Majorca And Minorca. Sir Clements R. Markham. 1908. Reprint by Read Books 2006. ISBN 1406703009

An interesting book about the early history of Majorca written almost one hundred years ago. It is still of interest to a modern reader interested in the time Majorca was an independent kingdom including parts of France and Italy. The style is a bit romantic but a good read. 070329

(57) Tuning up at Dawn, a memoir of music and Majorca. Tomás Graves. Harper Perennial, 2005. ISBN 0-00-712818-5

Another book by the author of "BREAD & OIL: Majorcan cultures last stand." and "A Home in Majorca. A practical guide to the traditional house and rural life." This time written directly in English. He makes a vivid portrait of a Majorca away from tourism through music and musicians from folk music to gypsy music and further to pop and rock. He is a product of two cultures but the book is an evidence of his love for this island but also a sadness for what has vanished. Recommended reading! 070407 


(58) Viva Mallorca!: One Mallorcan Autumn. Peter Kerr. The Lyons Press,  2005. ISBN-10: 1592286186

Another book in the series ( Snowball Oranges & Mañana, Mañana) by Peter Kerr describing his life as a orange farmer on Majorca. This book is also great fun to read. It it still very unlikely that he made his living growing oranges. It is also nice to recognise restaurants and places that you have personal memories from. 070702 

(59) Enter into the Kitchen of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Caty Juan de Corral. Alpha-3. Sevicios Editoriales. ISBN 84-86798-20-5

The author is an artist and knowledgeable in the history and culture of the Balearics. Here she present a wealth of recipes from Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The preparation of each meal is well described so that you dare to make something you only tasted in a restaurant before. 070709

(60) The Balearics. Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza. Eric Whelpton. Robert Hale Ltd. 1956.

The author gives a vivid view of Mallorca before the time of mass tourism. It is interesting to compare this with Mallorca of today. 070719


(61) Once There Was and Was Not. Tales and Rhymes from Majorca. Adapted by George Ezra Dane and Beatrice J. Dane. Junior Literary Guild, New York, 1931.

The authors have translated songs and rhymes collected by Don Pablo Bosch y Roca. He also introduced them to the legendary collector of Mallorquin folklore (Rondaies) Mossèn Antoni M. Alcover who supplied tales from his great collection. 070814

(62) Sea Change. Eleanor Mercein. Grosset & Dunlap, New York,1931.

A very romantic story taking place in the twenties with a strong local flavour. The book is full of historical references, also to the Jews that was forced to convert (chuetas). 071002


(63) A Change of Climate. Jay Williams. Macdonald & Co. London, 1956.

This is both a travel book and a picture of Mallorca in the fifties. The journey goes from New York to Wales to the south of France before arriving on Mallorca. Their time on the island is cut short by his daughter’s illness. There is a warm an interesting account of the local individuals as well as a meeting with the fellow author Robert Graves with whom he shared an interest in the historical novel. 071125

(64) The Railways and Tramways of Majorca. Giles Barnaby. Plateway Press, Brighton, 1993. ISBN 1 871890 13 5

The authors first book provides historical information on all the island's railways as well as chapters devoted to the motive power and rolling stock, methods of train working and timetables. Compare to the latest book (Rails Through Majorca) it lacks a description of the developments over the last 10 years. 071219


(65) Wild Orchids of Mallorca. Nicole & William Beniston. Editorial Moll 1999. ISBN 84-273-0824-8

Describes all the orchids to be found in Mallorca and gives details of their characteristics, the plant, the flower, pollination, life cycle, habitats, flowering times and classification. Recommended reading. 080211

(66) Trim's Majorca Guide. Robert E. Trimnell. Mossen Alcover Press, 1966.

A light-hearted guide from the sixties, with period ads and a humorous approach. Much can be recognised today but prices were significantly lower  with the exception of air tickets that are at the same level in English pounds, which must mean that they have fallen drastically since then. 080526

(67) (68) (69) Driving over Lemons. An Optimist in Andalucia. Chris Stewart. Sort of Books 1999. ISBN 0953522709
A Parrot in the Pepper Tree. Chris Stewart. Sort of Books 2006. ISBN 0-9535227-5-x
The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society. Chris Stewart. Sort of Books 2006. ISBN 0-9548995-0-4

The author who at age 17 was the drummer in Genesis cut short his musical career to shear sheep and be a travel writer. He later moved with his family to a lonely farm with no modern facilities called El Varo, in the Alpujarras, south of Granada. He writes with warmth and humour on the tribulations of the farm, his previous life, shearing sheep in Sweden, his attempts to learn flamenco guitar and much more. The three books can be warmly recommended . 080621

(70) Witches, Oranges and Slingers, Half a Century on Mallorca. Elena Davis. Trafford, 2006. ISBN 1-4258-0725-7

The author left the United States in 1959 to spend a few months in Mallorca. 47 years later she was still there. She made her living running a lending library and later having a small real estate agency. She vividly describes the living in Soller and surroundings. You will recognise some of the persons in the book "Majorca, Paradise Not Lost. Living the dream on a Spanish island" by Chuck Maisel. 080727 

(71) The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Antony Beevor. PENGUIN BOOKS 2006. ISBN13: 9780143037651

The Spanish civil war started in 1936 as a military coup under the leadership of general Franco. This led to a civil war with lots of casualties on both sides. The Fascists were supported by Hitler and Mussolini while the republican forces got help from Stalin. The author helps us to understand what really happened in this cruel war and also the connections to the world outside Spain. Although Franco died in 1975 it is not until recently that the casualties of this war, many still unknown, have been openly discussed and researched. Many are still buried in unmarked graves. Highly recommended reading 081015

(72) Majorcan Food and Cookery. Elisabeth Carter. Prospect Books, 1989. ISBN 0-907325-43-2

This book is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn Mallorquin cooking. It starts by presenting all the local ingredients followed by the recipes which covers most of the typical Mallorquin dishes. There are indexes in Mallorquin, Castilian and English. 081115   

(73) The Balearics and their Peoples. Fredrick Chamberlin. John Lane the Bodley Head Ltd, 1927.

This book contains a thorough study of history. climate, and the people of the Balearic islands. A lot is dated and prejudiced but there is a lot of interesting information to be found. A lot of space are given to the prehistoric remnants such as the "Talayots". 081222

(74) Majorca. Juan Bonet. Editoreal Everest, Leòn, 1969.

A nice picture book in colour and black and white. You can se a Passeo Maritime in Palma with empty spaces between the hotels and pleasure boats of a reasonable size. 090207


(75) The Fortunate Isles, Life and Travel in Majorca, Minorca and Iviza. Mary Stuart Boyd and Alexander Stuart Boyd (ill.). Methuen & Co, Ltd. 1911.

This is a very delightful travelogue of a family who around 1910 spent a winter on Mallorca. They rented a house in Son Espanolet, at that time a quiet suburb of Palma, travelling into the centre of Palma using the mule-drawn tram. Later they made excursions all over the island.  To get to Andraitx, Valdemossa or Manacor they had to travel by diligence. To Inca there was an unreliable railway service. Their conclusion was that they had discovered the place with the ideal winter climate. That conclusion still stands as their appreciation of Mallorcan friendliness! This book is expensive and hard to find but it is free of copyright and can be downloaded at 090920

(76) Viva Mallorca. Eric Cleugh. Cassell, London 1963.

The author is a former British Ambassador retired to Mallorca. He makes a thorough presentation of the Balearic Islands their history and their people. The portrait of his fellow Englishmen is not always flattering! The Englishman knows that the inhabitants of foreign countries really do understand English perfectly well and only behave a bit obstinately about it sometimes! 090922

(77) Problem at Pollensa bay and other stories. Agatha Christie.  Fontana, London 1991. ISBN 0 00 647242 7

The queen of crime, Agatha Christie, was a regular guest at Hotel Illa d’Or in Port de Pollença. The short story "Problem at Pollensa bay" features the retired civil servant Parker Payne as the problem solver. Parker Payne made his debut 1934 in a collection of short stories "Parker Pyne Investigates". 100811

(78)  Spanish Gardens. C. M. Villiers-Stuart. B. T. Batsford, Ltd, London, 1936.

This is the first book on Spanish gardens published in England. The author has studied these gardens for more than 15 years. It is focused on irrigated gardens inspired by the Moslem Paradise Garden. It has two chapters on Mallorcan gardens. 100825


(79) Keeping House in Majorca. Phoebe Binney Harnden. National Geographic Magazine. April 1924. National Geographic Society.

The author's family decides to buy a house in Deia inspired by M. S. Boyd's book " The Fortunate Isles". They didn't speak a word of Spanish! After two weeks of Spanish studies the son ordered four meat pies but twenty-two arrived the next day! The mistake of numbers was regarded as negligible factor! They talk with great enthusiasm about village life in Deia and describes the local customs like the killing of the family pig. A custom still very much alive. 100915

(80) From Paella to Porridge. A Farewell to Mallorca and a Scottish Adventure. Peter Kerr. Summersdale 2006. ISBN 978-1-84024-506-6

The final part of the author's depiction of his life as an orange grower, a few years in the 1980s, in Mallorca. Finally, he understood the obvious, that you cannot support a family by growing oranges on a small farm. The family sells their house and return to Scotland where he, after a few unsuccessful house businesses, realizes that he can make a living as a writer. And the rest is history. 100916

(81) The Gannet has landed. Peter Kerr.Accent Press Ltd. 2008. ISBN 978-1906373290

A young Scottish veterinary student, Doogie O'Mara, takes a year off his studies 'to get his head together' following the death of his parents, but also to escape the claustrophobic influence of the daughter of his elderly home-town vet, who assumes that Doogie will not only become his partner, but his daughter's as well. He starts working as a holiday rep on Mallorca where meets all kinds of  people has some adventures and finally finds true love with a Mallorcan girl. It is fun reading and you also get a lot of local information on Mallorca. 100916


(82)  The Balearics Are Booming. Jean and Franc Shor. National Geographic Magazine. May 1957. National Geographic Society.

This is a snapshot of the Balearic Islands in 1957 when the first tourist tide was sweeping in. The contrast between the tourist life and the life of local people was great. The principal observation from the authors is how cheap everything is and how friendly they are received by the locals. Today they are still friendly but it’s not cheap any more! 101101

(83)  Donkeys on My Doorstep. Hoofin it in the Mallorcan hills. Anna Nicholas. Summersdale, 2010. ISBN 978-1-84953-038-5

One of several books about the authors move from owning a London-based PR company to a quiet life in the Mallorcan countryside building a sanctuary for donkeys and cats. Sometimes a bit chatty, but with a moving love story from the Spanish civil war told by an old man, the only survivor. 101109

(84)  Majorca, Sunlight on a Sea-girt Isle. Friedrich Springorum. Kümmerly & Frey, 1960.

The author, a professional historian, gives you an introduction to Mallorca from the Bronze Age to present time (nineteen-fifties). It is filled with beautiful pictures catching Mallorca from all angels. His love of Mallorca and its inhabitants is obvious in the text. His list of excursions is a bit dated but contains information of interest for today’s visitors. 101115


Insiders an Outsiders(85)  Insiders and Outsiders. Paradise and Reality in Mallorca. Jaqueline Waldren. Berghahn Books, 1996. ISBN 1-57181-890-1

This study is based on the author’s experience of living in Deia for 35 years. It shows how the categories of Insider and Outsider have changed during the twentieth century. How the type of foreigners has altered during this period and how the conflicts and compromises have been resolved. This study makes it easier to understand the Mallorcan society of today and how you can fit in. 101209

(86) The Balearics, Spain's Sun-blessed Pleasure Isles. Ethel A. Starbird and James A. Sugar (photo). National Geographic Magazine. May 1976. National Geographic Society.

Here is a report from the Balearic Islands a year after the death of Franco. Modernisation takes a leap forward but there is still much of traditional living. The winter visit of Chopin and Georges Sand is mentioned as well as modern immigrants like Robert Graves and Juan Miró. Giant hotels is beginning to replace the older small ones an living is becoming more expensive with time. 110206


 (87) German Paradise Mallorca: A Funny Telling. Martin von Muenchen. The Hermit Kingdom Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59689-003-7

The author pokes fun of his own compatriots with a great sense of humour and satire. The book provides a humorous look into German culture and people as well as giving some useful information. 110509


(88) You & the Law in Spain, David Searl. Santana Books, 2011. ISBN 978-84-89954-91-5

Everyone living on Mallorca for shorter or longer period have met the Spanish law and seen the difference to English law. I have searched for a good introduction to the Spanish law, affecting foreigners. This is the best so far. It was first published in 1985 and this is the twenty-first version published in March 2011. Every chapter ends with an explanation of the main Spanish words. It may not give you a definite answer to every question but it will show how to progress in your contacts with the relevant authorities. Recommended reading. 081220

(89) The taste of a place Mallorca. Vicky Bennison. Chakula Press Ltd., 2003. ISBN 0-9542692-1-7

Here you can find restaurants serving typical Mallorcan food. Also were to find the best ingredients not only in Palma but on the whole island. You learn what these ingredients are called in castellano and mallorcin. It also covers the local bread, the black pig of Mallorca, sobrasada, fish and vegetables. The last section is a collection of Mallorcan easy to prepare recipies. Recommended reading. 120929


(90)  Gardening in Spain. Marcelle Pitt. Santana Books. ISBN 84-921229-8-6

How to plan your Mediterranean garden, what to plant when and how to plant. How to make the most of flowers, trees, shrubs and herbs. Also how to help your garden to survive the hot and dry Mallorcan summer. 120929



(91) Ghosts of Spain. Travels through a country's hidden past. Giles Tremlett. Faber and Faber Ltd. 2006. ISBN 0-571-22169-6

If you want to understand the Spaniards and the Spanish society, this is the book for you. Why are Spain so loud and still so quiet about the Civil war and its victims? Are there still traces of Franco? How did the Bikini save Spain? Wht about the Spanish social network "enchufe" or the art of being "plugged in", cultivating and using contacts. Are there feminism in Spain and why do Spaniards visit brothels more than other Europeans? All of this and more are dissected by the author with humour and seriousness. 130902


(92) Orchids of the Bellver Forest, Majorca. Sven Jonasson. Baltar y Asociados S.L. 2013. ISBN 978-8415259077

That this book is focused on Bellver forest can be seen as limiting but this place is ideal for the study of Mallorcan orchids as 17 of the 20 most common orchids can be found here. The author gives a description of the life circle, built and reproduction of the orchids with explanatory pictures. Then a presentation of the seventeen different orchids with five pictures of each species. There is also a table showing when the orchids are in bloom. An excellent book for anyone interested in Mallorcan flora. Recommended reading. 130902

(93)  MAN OF WAR. The secret life of Captain Alan Hillgarth, officer, adventurer, agent. Duff Hart-Davis. Century, London. 2012. ISBN 9781846059711.

This is the story about a man who as a 16 year old midshipman took part in the battle of Gallipoli during the First World War. There he bayoneted a Turkish soldier and was wounded twice. He then was a treasure hunter in Bolivia after which he bought a house on Mallorca and became British Consul. During the Civil War he saved hundreds of lives on both sides of the conflict by acting as a neutral mediator. During the Second World War he was Britain's spy-master in Spain and played a big part in the work to keep Spain out of the war thereby preventing the Germans from overtaking Gibraltar an close off the Mediterranean. Later in the war he became Chief of Intelligence in the Far East accelerating the defeat of Japan. For a long time he was also a valued adviser to Churchill and a friend of Joan March (Banca March, Museu Fundación Joan March). Unlike many of his contemporaries he preferred to stay out of the spotlight. It is possible that he provided inspiration to the spy-fiction writings of his friend Ian Fleming. Recommended reading  141017

(94)  El Sequer. Margalida Forteza. Telm Productions. 2015. ISBN 978-84-608-2308-7

The apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca) was significant for the town of Porreres in Mallorca from the 1940s to the end of the century. During the summer months a large proportion of the inhabitants were engaged in the picking and drying of apricots.  Margalida Forteza Martornell started a study involving the inhabitants of Porreres both young and old. The result was an exhibition, a video and this book.  Sequer is the name for both the reed trays for the apricots and the drying process. Apricots are a very delicate fruit which ripens quickly and must be picked at the right time. As their period of consumption are short natural preservation  methods such as drying have always been used. In this book you can follow this procedure in detail, beautifully illustrated. The book is in English, Catalan and Spanish.  Recommended reading  160416

(95)   Mediterranean Gardener. Hugo Latymer. FrancesLincoln Ltd. London. 1990. ISBN 0 7112 1828 5

A good reading for anyone having or planning a garden i the Mediterranean regions. The author describes different types of gardens. Such as: Dry, low maintenance gardens / Terraced hillside gardens / Water gardens. Elements of design and plants for Mediterranean gardens. Ending with the three fundamentals, watering, soil and shade. The book is beautifully illustrated. Recommended reading 180113    

Waterless garden

(96)  Making Waterless Gardens a Practical Reality Worldwide. Dick Handscombe. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1484823620

The author started gardening at five and is now more than seventy. He has worked in different climates and lived in Spain, enjoying the challenges of Mediterranean gardening, for more than 25 years. This book is a no thrills compilation of his ideas for reducing the amount of water needed to maintain a garden especially in a Mediterranean climate. I covers everything you need to do, but in a very condensed manner, so you probably need to complement it with other books that are illustrated and go more in deep at specific tasks. Recommended reading! 180221     


since 180318