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A Brief José Espronceda Bio

Written by: Espronceda (José), popular Spanish poet, b. Almendralejo (Estremadura) in 1810. After the War of Independence he went to Madrid and studied under Alberto Lista, the poet and mathematician. He became so obnoxious to the government by his radical principles that he was imprisoned about the age of fifteen, and banished a few years later. He passed several years in London and Paris, and was brought under the influence of Byron and Hugo. He fought with the people in the Paris Revolution of July, 1830. On the death of the Spanish King in ’33 he returned to Madrid, but was again banished for too free expression of his opinions. He returned and took part in the revolutionary contest of ’35–36. He was elected to the Cortes in ’41, and appointed secretary of embassy to The Hague. Died 23 May, 1842. Among his works are lyrical poems, which often remind us of Heine; an unfinished epic, El Pelayo; and El Diablo-Mundo (the Devil-World), a fine poem, due to the inspiration of Faust and Don Juan. Espronceda was a thorough sceptic. In his Song of the Pirate he asks, “Who is my God?—Liberty”; and in his concluding lines to a star he says:

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