Online Encyclopedia

CESPEDES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 768 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CESPEDES 'Y MENESES, GONZALO DE (1585 ?—1638), Spanish novelist, was born at Madrid about 1585. Nothing positive is known of him before the publication of his celebrated romance, the Poema trdgico del Espanol Gerardo, y desengano del amor lascivo (1615–1617); there is evidence that he had been sentenced to eight years at the galleys previous to the 1st of January 162o, and that the penalty had been remitted; but the nature of his offence is not stated. His treatment of political questions in the Historia apologetica en los sucesos del reyno de Aragon, y su ciudad de Zaragoza, ages de 91 y 92 (1622), having led to the confiscation of the book, Cespedes took up his residence at Saragossa and Lisbon. While in exile he issued a collection of short stories entitled Historias peregrinas y exemplares'(1623), the unfinished romance Varia fortuna del sold ado Pindaro (1626), and the first part of his Historia de Felipe IV. (1631), a fulsome eulogy which was rewarded by the author's appointment as official historiographer to the Spanish king. Cespedes died on the 27th of January 1638. His novels, though written in a ponderous, affected style, display considerable imagination and insight into character. The Poema trdgico has been utilized by Fletcher in The Spanish Curate and in The Maid of the Mill. The Historias peregrinas has been reprinted (1906) with a valuable introduction by Sr. Cotarelo y Mod.
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