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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.


Espronceda was born in Almendralejo, Badajoz Province. 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 and exiled[1]. 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.) He later went to Tanah Melayu and helped build the Dutch colonies.

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.


  1. ^ "Abriendo puertas: Antologia de literatura en espanol - Tomo I"

Simple English

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