PDA

View Full Version : A few questions about Spain during the Spanish Civil War



Shattuck
10-28-2009, 03:43 AM
Hello everyone. I am working on a piece set during the early Spanish Civil War and I want to make sure it is accurate and doesn't seem like it was obviously written by a foreigner that knows nothing about the place.

First of all, I have a question about the currency. From what I can tell, the peseta was the official currency at the time, but I have read that the Republic and the Nationalists both minted their own coins as well. But I am slightly confused on how the money breaks down. I know that a peseta is equal to 100 centimos, but I have read a few things saying it is also equal to 4 reales. A bit of research tells me that might just be an informal phrase, since the real was replaced by the peseta in the later half of the 1800's. Would it make sense to use the word "reales" in reference to money during the civil war? If it is an informal phrase it seems like that might be a nice touch, but if nobody used the term at all I obviously wouldn't want to do that.

Secondly, it is a bit hard to pin down the geography in relation to some small towns. Right now I have my MC leaving Llanes as the rebels attack, then following a road from Leon to the outskirts of Madrid. Does that make sense geographically? As far as I can tell Llanes is a bit east of Leon, which is sort of southwest of Madrid, so I don't see a problem with it, but I know how tricky that sort of thing can be and the details are very important in historical fiction.

And third, a question about transportation. A few pictures I have found have shown Ford convertibles and Ford trucks. I think there were Ford plants in Germany and Argentina, so maybe they imported them, but were Fords popular cars in Spain at the time? Did Spain not have their own brands?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out, I am very appreciative.

PeterL
10-28-2009, 06:39 PM
Fords were available in Spain, and they were relatively inexpensive. Spain didn't manufacture cars in sizable quantities, so they probably were imported.

Leon is well to the North west of Madrid, or is there a small Leon? LLanes is on the Bay of Biscay almost due North of Leon about 80 miles away. Leon is about three hundred miles straight line from Madrid.

The Spanish Civil War was very complicated. I hope that you have read several histories of it.

Shattuck
11-04-2009, 10:05 AM
Yes, the war is very complicated. I am definitely making sure I get my history right beforehand. So just to be clear, would it be believable for someone living in Llanes who is running from the fighting to make their way to Leon and then travel by truck to Madrid? It would obviously be a long trip but it seems in the realm of possibility. I just don't want to make one of those mistakes where a person who knows Spain / has lived there reads it and puts it down because it is obviously ridiculous.

blacbird
11-04-2009, 11:41 AM
Hello everyone. I am working on a piece set during the early Spanish Civil War and I want to make sure it is accurate and doesn't seem like it was obviously written by a foreigner that knows nothing about the place.

First of all, I have a question about the currency. From what I can tell, the peseta was the official currency at the time, but I have read that the Republic and the Nationalists both minted their own coins as well.

Check contemporaneous stamps. Info on these should be easily available via gloooogle. I'm nearly certain that the peseta was the unit of currency during that period, but do a check.

Secondarily, if you haven't already, read[ For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway), Man's Hope (Andre Malraux) and Homage to Catalonia (George Orwell). I don't know if they will specifically answer your currency question, but these are the three great literary classics of the Spanish Civil War, and you should know them if you're going to write about it.

caw