Elizabeth Pearl Bickerstaffe’s scrapbook cuttings reveal the extent of human suffering in the civil war in Spain – and China – in which civilians were the main casualties. They also tell of the vain efforts of campaigners in Britain, and the International Brigade volunteers, to prevent the triumph of the fascist powers in Europe. Through them we sense the fierce commitment to the cause of the Spanish Republic felt by the correspondents and photographers who witnessed this unfolding tragedy.
The role of the foreign correspondents in Spain is discussed in an introduction by Paul Preston, the foremost historian of the Spanish Civil War. Rodney Bickerstaffe writes in his foreword that the events in Spain, and his mother’s scrapbook, shaped his political values. Jim Jump’s preface explains more about the creation, context and consequences of Pearl Bickerstaffe’s compelling scrapbook of one of the major episodes in twentieth-century history.