Born in 1810 in Lisbon, and died in 1877. Besides being a writer of great
note his life was a pattern of other pursuits. His strong liberal point of
view placed him at severe odds with those in power most of his life. By the
age of 21 years he was already forced into political exile in Plymouth,
England, and later in Rennes, in France. He trained to become a
professional soldier and fought in several battles. He applied his combat
skills to everyday life, yet, his works were poetical in content and he was
influential in introducing into Portuguese literature a romantic historical
style of writing. During his lifetime he held many posts, from Director of
Municipal Library of Porto to a Deputy in Parliament. Influenced by his
political beliefs his many works unveiled a completely different view on
many of the recorded past historical events in Portugal.
Alexandre Manuel Vahia de Castro O´Neil de Bulhões was born in 1924
and died in 1986. A poet of sensitive extremes he was a strong influence in
the Portuguese Surrealist Movement that was founded in the middle of the
1940s. His writings were complementary to his open strong personality,
combining truthful force with ironic or sarcastic humour.
Born in Setúbal in 1765 and died in 1805. He is considered to be the
most important poet representing Portugal in the 18th Century. His works
drew the attention of the Jesuits and their Inquisition who persecuted him
for their content.
Eça de Queirós
José Maria Eça de Queirós was born in 1845 in Póvoa de Varzim
and died in 1900. He graduated from the University of Coimbra as a Lawyer
in 1866. For a short time he founded and was editor of the Journal de
Distrito de Évora. In 1870 he was appointed the State Administrator of
the Distrito de Leiria. He then was appointed Consul for Havana
in Cuba in 1872. Two years later he made an official visit to the U.S.A.
and then moved to live in Newcastle. It was only in 1876 that his
first novel "O Crime de Padre Amaro" appeared. The success
of this book followed with other novels, in particular the work
"Maias" for which he was much acclaimed. He died in
Paris on the 16th of August.
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa is perhaps the writer that is best
remembered by the Portuguese of modern times. Born in Lisbon in
1888 and died in 1935. At the death of his father at the tender age of five
his family departed to live in Durban in South Africa. In 1904 he
won a scholarship to attend Cape Town University. He returned to his native
Portugal in 1905 to continue his studies in Lisbon. Later in 1915, he
joined a group of prominent intellectuals to publish the famous Orpheu,
magazine. Only three publications were produced but each had a tremendous
impact on the culture of that time. All his poems were signed with alias,
such as Ricardo Reis, Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro Campos and Bernardo
Soares. The exception was the poem "Mensagem" that
appeared in 1935 in his own name.
This lady writer of strong poetic feelings was born in 1894 in Vila
Viçosa, and died in 1930 in Matosinhos. Her poems and sonnets
express the state of a woman with very strong emotions, internally tortured
and fundamentally unsatisfied. It would be safe to suggest that she
represented a segment of educated Portuguese women of that period. Very
little of her work was published during her lifetime and her real
recognition came tragically after she ended her life out of despair.
Born in 1465 and died in 1536. An outstanding Portuguese playwright and poet
whose background is not recorded. He also acted and directed his own plays.
He is considered the most important dramatist of Portugal and his works
include 46 plays, of which 16 are written in the Portuguese language and 11
in Castilian, whilst 19 are to be found in both languages. Although, his
plays were later suppressed by the Inquisition causing damage to his
previous fame, he is today recognised as one of the most important playwrights
to originate from the Iberian Peninsular.
Born in Azinhaga in 1922. This author has built a reputation
world-wide, and especially within his home country Portugal and also in
Spain where he has made his home. Humble origins forced him to be
self-taught in developing his natural writing skills. His strong left-wing
sentiments caused him to seek work in various other fields during his early
life. The first critically successful acknowledged work from his pen was in
1966 with Os Poemas Possíveis". Since 1974 he has contributed
articles to many publications and for a time worked as assistant director
of the national daily newspaper "Diário de Notícias".
After being nominated various times for the Nobel Prize in Literature he
was at last successful in 1998.
Jose-Augusto Rodrigues França born in Tomar in 1922 completed
his academic education at the Sorbonne in Paris as a Doctor
of History. A prolific writer he will probably be best remembered in the
future for his historical works relating to the history of Portuguese Fine
Arts and particularly during the period of the 20th Century. His sensitivity
of the world of art and its history transfers itself in his books and
Luís Vaz de Camões
Acknowledged as a poet to equal Shakespeare. He was born in Coimbra
in 1525 and died in 1579. His main claim to fame is his outstanding work
"Os Lusíadas" that he completed in 1572. It is an epic work
that is devoted to the Portuguese historic voyages and their accomplishments.
He based this work on many of his own experiences as he sailed in search of
the New World. His work has been translated into many languages but even to
this day much of what he wrote remains elusive in meaning.
Adolfo Correia da Rochawas born into a humble family in 1907 in the
district of Vila Real. His early education was from the church and
later in 1920 he emigrated to Brazil. Here he worked with his uncle in the
coffee trade but continued with his studies. In 1925 he returned to Portugal
and attended Coimbra University to read medicine. Upon qualifying he
started a practice in the same city and commenced writing. He published many
poems and sonnets under the pen-name Miguel Torga. He died in 1995.
Padre António Vieira
Born in Lisbon in 1608 and died in Bahia, Brazil, in 1697. His
family moved to Brazil when he was only six years old. He was given a Jesuit
religious education but was only ordained in 1635. He departed in 1641 for
Portugal and was arrested on arrival. He then gained the favour of the King,
Dom João IV, and was sent to Holland and later France as a diplomat.
In 1665 after his return to Portugal he was again arrested and interrogated
by the Inquisition. He returned to Brazil frustrated by the situation but
later travelled to Rome to submit his views to the Pope. He lived a
very long life full of turmoil, but his creative abilities and unlimited
energy left behind numerous manuscripts and sermons that are revered today.
Sophia de Mello Breyner
Born in 1919, this lady poet commenced composing poetry at the age of 16.
As a classical style poet she first published some works in 1941 under the
title of “Poesia”. Later works include “Geografia” (1967),
“Ilhas” (1990), “Musa” (1994), and “Signo” in 1994.
She also published a collection of children’s stories that brought her more
popular appeal. In 1999 she was awarded the laureate “Camões Prize for her
outstanding contribution to Portuguese culture.