Ashley Smith's Comment in "...As Beggars, Tramp Through Spain"

The unusual book, ".. As Beggars, Tramp through Spain" (1927) has an introduction by Jan Gordon. He stated that since the war, the "newly-admitted pluck of women has been turned to exploration, and women travellers have shown themselves the equal of men in daring resourcefulness and energy, astonishing to the wild peoples amongst whom they have travelled." He is referring to the colourful author, Countess Malmignati, whose published exploits were sometimes doubted by her contemporaries.

I have Ashley Smith's copy of this book (he was my grandfather and a friend of Jan and Cora Gordon) and in the front of the book are his comments written with a fountain pen:

"This is a true yarn,

Fleet Street thought otherwise."

Ashley Smith's comment in the front of ".. As Beggars, Tramp through Spain."

I also found the story largely plausible (thought some exaggerations are to be expected) and the descriptions of the places along their route convincing. Nonetheless, the countess, sometimes known as either "Doushka" or "Moushka," remains highly enigmatic and her accounts less than entirely consistent with known facts. Ray Howgego summarises what is known about her life (c.1883-1930) here.


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