The Savage Frontier (Hardcover)

The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination

By Matthew Carr

New Press, 9781620974278, 288pp.

Publication Date: December 18, 2018

List Price: 27.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A sweeping historical travelogue of the contentious border of France and Spain, in the great tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Jan Morris

With the Catalonia crisis making international headlines, the unique cultural and geographic region bordering Spain and France has once again moved to the center of the world's attention. In The Savage Frontier, acclaimed author and journalist Matthew Carr uncovers the fascinating, multilayered story of the Pyrenees region--at once a forbidding, mountainous frontier zone of stunning beauty, home to a unique culture, and a site of sharp conflict between nations and empires.

Carr follows the routes taken by monks, soldiers, poets, pilgrims, and refugees. He examines the people and events that have shaped the Pyrenees across the centuries, with a cast of characters including Napoleon, Hannibal, and Charlemagne; the eccentric British climber Henry Russell; Francisco Sabat Llopart, the Catalan anarchist who waged a lone war against the Franco regime across the Pyrenees for years after the civil war; Camino de Santiago pilgrims; and the cellist Pablo Casals, who spent twenty-three years in exile only a few miles from the Spanish border to show his disgust and disapproval of the Spanish regime.

The Savage Frontier is a book that will spark a new awareness and appreciation of one of the most haunting, magical, and dramatic landscapes on earth.

About the Author

Matthew Carr is the author of several books of nonfiction, including Blood and Faith, and a novel, The Devils of Cardona. He has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, The Observer, The Guardian, and others. He lives in the United Kingdom.