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Bernardo de Balbuena

Spanish poet (1568-1627)

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Balbuena, BERNARDO DE, a Spanish poet, b. in Val de Penas, 1568; d. in Porto Rico, 1627. At a very early age he was taken by his parents to Mexico, where he received his education. Later he spent twelve years in Jamaica, and then passed the remainder of his days as Bishop of Porto Rico, to which see he was appointed in 1620. He published “La Grandeza Mejicana” in 1604, and in 1608, in Madrid, “Siglo de Oro en las Selves de Eriphile”, a very learned pastoral romance abounding in beautiful poetic passages. The book, however, contained no description of the scenery or manners of the New World and nothing connected with the history of the times. Possibly for this reason it was not in great demand among Balbuena’s contemporaries. But in 1821 it had the honor of being republished by the Spanish Academy. Another work “El Bernardo o Victoria de Roncesvalles” was published in Madrid in 1624 (new edition, 1808). It is an epic poem on the subject of Spain‘s resistance to the invasion of Charlemagne.


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