Following Writers and Rebels in the Spanish Civil War

Caroline Moorehead at Literary Review:

‘Me, I am going to Spain with the boys,’ Martha Gellhorn famously told a friend in 1937 as she boarded a ship sailing from New York to France. ‘I don’t know who the boys are, but I am going with them.’ She knew perfectly well with whom she was going: Ernest Hemingway, who was on the point of abandoning his second wife for her. They were off to cover the Spanish Civil War, where Franco’s Nationalists were making steady gains against the army of the legitimate republic. But it is the women, not the boys, about whom Sarah Watling writes here: the reporters, photographers and authors for whom the Spanish conflict became, in the later words of the American novelist Josephine Herbst, the most important event ‘in the life of the world’, a ghastly, menacing foreshadowing of the war to come.

Along with Herbst, fresh from writing about Batista in Cuba, and Gellhorn, now twenty-eight and the author of a much-praised book about the Depression, The Trouble I’ve Seen, there was Nancy Cunard, the daughter of an American heiress and an English peer; thin-lipped, with a small head, cropped hair and outlandish clothes, she went to Spain as correspondent for the Associated Negro Press. 

more here.