Book reviews, Culture, Europe, Globe, Listings, Uncategorized

The life of Walter Starkie

This February 20th, London has an appointment with one of the most important figures of 20th century Spain, recalling the biography of a man whose life wandered between top-level politics and the violin.


The life of Walter Starkie  2Overseeing this task is Jacqueline Hurtley. Invited by the Cervantes Institute, she is the author of Walter Starkie, an Odyssey and is Professor at the University of Barcelona.

Together with journalist and writer Jimmy Burns Marañón they will document the life of the Anglo-Irish Hispanist and founder of the British Council in Spain.

Their work pays homage to a figure who dedicated his life to teaching, music and writing, the author of travel books such as “Raggle-Taggle: Adventures with a Fiddle in Hungary and Romania” (1933), as well as the sequels “Spanish Raggle-Taggle” and “Don Gypsy”.

There were some remarkable moments inThe life of Walter Starkie 1 Walter Starkie’s life (1860-1976), through which he became a pioneer in the study of Spanish in the English-speaking world.

Among them he inaugurated the Chair of Spanish at Trinity College, Dublin (with such notable alumni as Samuel Beckett), and in Spain – during Franco’s reign following the Spanish Civil War – he took on the responsibility of being the British Council’s first representative.

Stepping beyond the man himself, the biography delves into Starkie’s life to offer a portrait of a man who was never without his violin, a passionate traveller and a prominent figure in the study of the Roma people, whose language he also came to master.

 Jacqueline Hurtley
Jacqueline Hurtley

Reviewing the life of this great man also involves a journey across the history of the 20th century: beginning with his native Ireland’s struggle for independence and arriving at the shores of Europe, Hungary and Romania at the dawn of the First World War.

Date: 20th February. Time: 18.30. Location: Auditorium, Cervantes Institute, 102 Eaton Square London SW1 W9AN.

More information and booking:


(Translated by Tara Balfour – Email:

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *