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Juan Valera

  • Juan Valera © Iberfoto

    Juan Valera © Iberfoto






Date of birth

Oct 18, 1824

Date of death

Apr 18, 1905

" Politician, diplomat and writer. He was the most European figure in the 19th century in Spain, which can be seen in the open and conciliatory tone of his work."

Juan Valera y Alcalá-Galiano was born in Cabra in 1824. He was born into a noble and wealthy family, and studied in Malaga (1837-1840) and in the Sacromonte college in Granada (1841). He earned a PhD in Law from the University of Granada. He started a career as a diplomat in Naples, together with the ambassador and poet Ángel de Saavedra. He travelled all over Europe and part of America. He settled in Madrid in 1858, where he started his political career. He was refined, and promoted aestheticism, and he confronted the realist and naturalist novels written by his contemporaries, especially Benito Pérez Galdós. He developed all the different genres but he is remembered by his novel "Pepita Jiménez" (1874) which was translated into ten languages. Albéniz turned it into an opera. He died in Madrid in 1905.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Pepita Jiménez

    In his first work, Juan Valera achieved one of the greatest sales success in the second half of the 19th century.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • Juanita la larga
spain is culture