Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Cirilo Villaverde

Author / playwright

Cuban author, born in San Diego de Nuñez in 1812. In 1823 his parents took him to Havana, where he was graduated in law in 1832, but he devoted himself to teaching and literature. On account of his liberal ideas in politics, and being implicated in a conspiracy to overthrow the Spanish government, he was arrested in 1849 and condemned to death, but escaped and fled to the United States. He fixed his residence in New York, where he published for some time a newspaper in aid of the revolutionary party of Cuba. Subsequently he was also the editor of literary magazines.
In early life he had published in the papers short sketches of Cuban life and customs, and brief romantic narratives, and afterward he wrote the novels: El espeton de oro, Los dos amores and La joven de la flecha de oro (Havana, 1837), El Guajiro (1840), El Penitente, La peineta calada, La tejedora de sombreros (1840-'5), and Cecilia Valdes (La Havana, 1839; New York, 1881). The last is his masterpiece, a genuine Cuban novel, which has been deservedly praised by the most competent critics in Spain and Spanish America. Some of his works have been translated into German and French.

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