This week’s edition of ¡Hola! magazine (13 May 2015) Spanish parent of Hello! magazine, opens with myself and Sarah in a long feature with the headline of “Alexander Fiske-Harrison, the English ‘gentleman’ that one day became an expert on bullfighting” (pp.4-12.) Although I see we got bumped from the cover by Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
The formal portrait and landscape shots were taken at Otley Hall in Suffolk, which once belonged to my forebears, for which I would like thank Ian and Catherine Beaumont who own it today and the great fashion photographer Andrea Savini. The photos from my days in ‘the world of the bulls’ with the likes of Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez, Juan José Padilla and Don Adolfo Suárez Illana are by the great photographer de arte Nicolás Haro.
I enclose the text of my interview in the original English below. Please note the introduction and caption are written by Mamen Sánchez, not me. Mamen is director of ¡Hola!, granddaughter of its founder, and author of The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman (Random House, 2015), which I am so enjoying reading at the moment.
Although I have moved my blog on bullfighting to its own site, The Last Arena, my involvement in Spain is no less intense, from my tourism consultancy (see the end of the interview below) down to my bedtime reading: Mamen’s book is joined by the historian Robert Goodwin’s latest Spain: The Centre Of The World 1519-1692 (Bloomsbury, 2015) which I am reviewing for The Spectator.
I should like to thank the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville for putting us up – there is a reason I have kept coming back for fifteen years – and Gieves & Hawkes, No.1 Savile Row, for providing my suit (the navy one, the only item of clothing I wore at Otley Hall of my own) – there is a reason my family has come back to you for three generations – and Ralph Lauren for providing Sarah and I with clothes in the Feria de Abril in Seville this year.
(All media enquiries to email@example.com)
Descended from one of the most ancient and aristocratic families of the United Kingdom, forebeared by King Edward III
The English Gentleman who one day became an expert of bullfighting
We open the gates of his historic ancestral home Otley Hall, built in the 16th Century, alongside his girlfriend, the beautiful lawyer Sarah Pozner
(Photo: Alexander Fiske-Harrison. We open the gates of the familial home, a historic building of the 16th Century, the manorial estate of Otley Hall, in the counting of Suffolk. The Fiske-Harrisons are descended from Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of the Duke of Clarence. On the right he receives us together with the girlfriend, the beautiful Sarah Pozner)
Alexander Fiske-Harrison comes from one of the oldest and most illustrious families in England. Fiske-Harrison are the descendants of Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of the Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV and Richard III, Kings of England.
Educated at Eton, he holds Masters in Arts and Sciences thanks to his studies in Philosophy and Biology at the Universities of Oxford and London. Son of a prosperous investment banker in ‘The City’, Alexander can presume to be the genuine “gentleman”. Elegant, humanist, lover of nature and man of letters, he is the author of numerous books and essays, a playwright and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Times, Financial Times and The Spectator.
Following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, there awakened in him an interest in bullfighting which brought him to Spain, first as a researcher and later as an authentic lover of the ‘fiesta de los toros’. From the hand of great Maestros such as Juan José Padilla, Eduardo Dávila Miura and Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez and through his friendship with Adolfo Suárez Illana [son of Spain’s first democratic president, the Duke of Suárez], who first introduced him to the world of bullfighting, Alexander has become a valiant bullfighter. He killed a bull of Saltillo and participated in various festivals, he has run for six years in the bull-runs of Pamplona and has written one of the most referenced books on the world of bullfighting: Into The Arena.
A total discovery, Alexander, greets us with his fascinating girlfriend, Sarah – Senior Legal Advisor to BUPA Global and captain of the polo team “Legal Beagles” -, in Otley Hall, a historic Tudor Manor in the county of Suffolk. This building, dating from the 16th Century, connects the Fiske-Harrison family and the Kings of England, and a great-granddaughter of Margaret Plantagenet here contracted marriage with the then Lord of the Manor of Otley Hall, John Gosnold.