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Penelope Chetwode’s middle-aged companion on her ride over the mule tracks and goat paths of Andalusia in 1961 was a twelve-year-old mare, La Marquesa. This treasured animal, borrowed from the Duke of Wellington’s Spanish stables, brought her experience of native travel conditions to the expedition, which was otherwise inspired by the author’s reading of those early British Hispanophiles George Borrow and Richard Ford, combined with her interest in the breeding of Spanish horses. Together the travellers brought out the best in their Spanish hosts, whether met on the road, in a crude country inn, a cave-house or during Penelope’s frequent attendance in church. The result is a journey described with warmth and wit, lit up by an infectious fascination for horses, God and Spain.

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