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Head of Zeus
Lost Paradise
Lost Paradise: The Story of Granada by Elizabeth Drayson

The essential history of an iconic European city, by Cambridge academic Elizabeth Drayson.

'An admirable achievement... [Drayson has] expertise as a scholar and command as a storyteller' BBC History Magazine
'A glittering homage to one of the world's most beautiful and storied cities' Dan Jones
'Beauty built on blood and brutality... A fascinating new tome' Daily Mail

From the early Middle Ages to the present, foreign travellers have been bewitched by Granada's peerless beauty. The Andalusian city is also the stuff of story and legend, with an unforgettable history to match. Romans, then Visigoths, settled here, as did a community of Jews; in the eleventh century a Berber chief made Granada his capital, and from 1230 until 1492 the Nasrids – Spain's last Islamic dynasty – ruled the emirate of Granada from their fortress-palace of the Alhambra. After capturing the city to complete the Christian Reconquista, the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella made the Alhambra the site of their royal court.

In Lost Paradise, Elizabeth Drayson takes the reader on a voyage of discovery that uncovers the many-layered past of Spain's most complex and fascinating city, celebrating and exploring its evolving identity. Her account brings to the fore the image of Granada as a lost paradise, revealing it as a place of perpetual contradiction and linking it to the great dilemma over Spain's true identity as a nation. This is the story of a vanished Eden, of a place that questions and probes Spain's deep obsession with forgetting, and with erasing historical and cultural memory.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * History
08 Jul 2021 * 480pp * £7.99 * 9781788547444
An admirable achievement... With her expertise as a scholar and her command as a storyteller, Drayson delivers a fascinating study that is part love letter to a city, part commentary on how memory is a force that impacts each successive age'
BBC History Magazine
'Beauty built on blood and brutality! Elizabeth Drayson delves into the history of Granada in a fascinating new tome'
Daily Mail
A glittering homage to one of the world's most beautiful and storied cities... Brilliantly and compellingly places Granada at the heart of more than two millennia of Mediterranean history'
Dan Jones
'Drayson's book is a labour of love and it tells: there is a passion in her writing, in every detail that she has to offer about the history of the region... A gloriously illustrated book as compelling to look at as it is to read'
International Times
'For those who have visited Granada and the Alhambra, Drayson's writing will certainly revive pleasant memories, while those who have not yet made the journey will surely be inspired to do so by this evocative, richly illustrated and beautifully produced book'
Elizabeth Drayson
Elizabeth Drayson
Elizabeth Drayson is Emeritus Fellow in Spanish at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge; she is a specialist in medieval and early modern Spanish literature and cultural history. The author of The Moor's Last Stand, The Lead Books of Granada and The King and the Whore, Drayson has also produced the first translation and edition of Juan Ruiz's Libro de buen amor to appear in England. She lives in Cambridge.
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