Flag_of_Spain_(1931_-_1939).svgTo Arthur Davison Ficke
Hotel Danieli
Venice, Italy. December 2, 1939

In the flattering mention you make of me in your book, there is a slight and very natural error, which in spite of its littleness, is strangely significant and shows how little the public really knows about its members. You speak of my half-Spanish blood. If you had said I was half-Spanish or half-American, it would have been true enough, because my dominant language and associations are American and I have lived little in Spain; but I am wholly Spanish in blood, and have always remained legally Spanish in nationality. . . . [O]ur family life in Boston was wholly Spanish: I never spoke any other language at home; and you can’t imagine what a completely false picture comes to the mind if you suggest that my mother was an American. Then, too, she and my sisters would have been Protestants, and my whole imaginative and moral background would have been different.

From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Six, 1937-1940.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004.
Location of manuscript: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven CT