José de Espronceda

José de Espronceda, baptised José Ignacio Javier Oriol Encarnación de Espronceda y Delgado (March 25, 1808 - May 23, 1842) was among the most important Spanish romanticist poets of the 19th century.

Life

Espronceda was born in Almendralejo, Spain. As a youth he formed a secret society, conspiring against Ferdinand VII and intending to avenge the death of Rafael del Riego y Nuñez. For this, he was imprisoned in a monastery. Afterward, he left Spain and lived in Lisbon, Belgium, France, England, and Holland. On his return to Spain in 1833, he became active in the extreme left-wing of Spanish political culture. Espronceda is also known for his affair with Teresa Mancha, for whom he wrote "Canto a Teresa" (from "El diablo mundo".)

Literary Production

Having been inspired to a literary career by his teacher Alberto Lista, Espronceda began to write the historical poem "El Pelayo" during his stay in the monastery. The poem was never completed. Later he wrote the novel "Sancho Saldaña". His other important works include "El estudiante de Salamanca" and "El diablo mundo", long lyric poems that were also unfinished. Also important were "A Jarifa en una orgía", "El verdugo", "Canción del cosaco", "La canción del pirata", and "Himno al sol". Many of his works display the tendencies of Romanticism, and along with José Zorilla he is considered Spain's most important Romantic poet, as well as the most rebellious.


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