Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Spain, Madrid, Segovia

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Why a Booktrail?

1930s:Ernest Hemingway’s experiences in the Spanish Civil War deserves a read and a place on every bookshelf.

  • ISBN: 978-0099908609
  • Genre: Historical

What you need to know before your trail

In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed For Whom the Bell Tolls. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain.

It’s a story of loyalty and courage, love and defeat. A remarkable book which anyone with an interest in Spanish history and good writing should read.

Travel Guide

What can you say about a classic? High in the mountains and forests of the Spanish Sierra, a guerrilla band prepares to blow up a vital bridge. These mountanous areas are dangerous and a prime hiding spot for fighters and all kinds of bandits. One of the people there, Robert Jordan is in the thick of it, the fighting, the harsh and unforgiving landscpe and conditions but also the friendships and comradeship that develops between the men there. He’s an American Volunteer in charge of dynamiting and his role is a difficult one. Imagine the horrors of the work, the time and the risk.

This is a story of both sides of the Spanish Civil War. On the Republican side , Robert teaches Spanish in his daily life but finds himself in unique situations In charge of blowing up the bridge, the preparations are relentless, time consuming, pain staking and ultimately horrific. The main part of the story is the process of preparing for and attacking the bridge.

In the middle of all this, is Maria, a young woman who has escaped from Franco’s rebels.

History buffs should look out for references are also made to Valladolid, Segovia, El Escorial and Madrid which were part of the preparation for the siege of Madrid

The famous and pivotal scene described in Chapter 10, in which Pilar describes the execution of various fascist figures in her village is said to be drawn from events that took place in Ronda 1936

Booktrailer Review


A great classic for anyone to read but if you’re learning Spanish, you’d be hard pushed to find a better book to learn of its history. I admire this book for the fact it was based on real life expereinces and Hemingway never shies away from telling the truth as it is, showing and evoking the pain and the horror of the moment. This is a remarkable novel for the writing and the effort behind it. It really is a book to read and remember and thanks to this, my Spanish history exam was so much easier to understand.

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