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Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses

Born: c. 1585
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: 1638
Location of death: Madrid, Spain
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Novelist

Nationality: Spain
Executive summary: Poema trágico

Spanish novelist, born at Madrid about 1585. Nothing positive is known of him before the publication of his celebrated romance, the Poema trágico del Español Gerardo, y desengaño del amor lascivo (1615-17); there is evidence that he had been sentenced to eight years at the galleys previous to the 1st of January 1620, and that the penalty had been remitted; but the nature of his offense is not stated. His treatment of political questions in the Historia apologética en los sucesos del reyno de Aragón, y su ciudad de Zaragoza, años de 91 y 92 (1622), having led to the confiscation of the book, Céspedes 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 soldado Píndaro (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. Céspedes 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 trágico has been utilized by Fletcher in The Spanish Curate and in The Maid of the Mill.

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