Enchanted by the landscape and people of Spain, Maugham had long resolved to wirte a picaresque novel about the country. Instead, he wrote a living commentary assessing a great people in their greatest hour. 'Don Fernando' ia s paean to Sapin's golden age of enormous creative enegy. Beginning wth the vivid tale of Loyola's life and conversion, it discusses the writings of St. Theresa and the paintings of El Greco, and comments with sagacity and wit on such illustrious figures as Cervantes, Luis de Leon, Lope de Vega, Velasquez and the creator of Don Juan. 'Don Fernando' is full of happy surprises, curious facts and stimulating opinions that reflect Maugham's lifelong love and admiration for spanish culture and civilisation.