Vicente Antonio Garcia De La Huerta - Encyclopedia




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VICENTE ANTONIO GARCIA DE LA HUERTA (1734-1787), Spanish dramatist, was born at Zafra on the 9th of March 1734, and was educated at Salamanca. At Madrid he soon attracted attention by his literary arrogance and handsome person; and at an early age became chief of the National Library, a post from which he was dismissed owing to the intrigues of his numerous enemies. The publication of his unsatisfactory collection of Spanish plays entitled Theatro Hespanol (1785-1786) exposed him to severe censures, which appear to have affected his reason. He died at Madrid on the 12th of March 1787, without carrying into effect his avowed intention of reviving the national drama. His Agamemnon vengado derives from Sophocles, his Jaire is translated from Voltaire, and even his once famous Raquel, though Spanish in subject, is classic in form.

Garcia De Paredes, Diego (1466-1534), Spanish soldier and duellist, was a native of Trujillo in Estremadura, Spain. He never commanded an army or rose to the position of a general, but he was a notable figure in the wars of the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century, when personal prowess had still a considerable share in deciding the result of actions. His native town and its district, which lie between Talavera and Madrid, produced many of the most noted conquistadores of America, including the Pizarro family. Diego himself served in his youth in the war of Granada. His strength, daring and activity fitted him to shine in operations largely composed of night marches, escalades, surprises and hand-to-hand combats. The main scene of his achievements was in Italy, and he betook himself to it - on his own showing - not in search of glory, but because he had killed a relation of his own, Ruy Sanchez de Vargas, in a street fight arising out of a quarrel about a horse. He fled to Rome, then under the rule of the Borgias. Diego was a distant relation to the cardinal of Santa Cruz (Carvajal), a favourite with Pope Alexander VI., who was in conflict with the barons of the Romagna and took Diego into his service. He remained a soldier of the pope till he killed a man in a personal quarrel and found it necessary to pass over to the enemy. Now he became acquainted with the Colonnas, who appreciated his services. The wars between Ferdinand V. of Aragon (the Catholic king) and Louis XII. gave him a more creditable opening. The Spanish general Gonsalvo de Cordoba, who knew his value, employed him and trusted him; and he took part in all the wars of Italy on the XI. 15 a frontier of Navarre, and once against the Turks on the Danube, till 1530. His countrymen made him the hero of many Miinchausen-like stories of personal prowess. It was said that he held a bridge single-handed against 200 Frenchmen, that he stopped the wheel of a water-mill, and so forth. In the "Brief Summary" of his life and deeds attributed to him, and printed at the end of the Chronicle of the Great Captain, published in 1584 at Alcala de Henares, he lays no claim to having done more than was open to a very athletic man. He was killed at Bologna in 1 534 by a fall while engaged in a jumping-match with some of the younger officers of the army. His body was carried to his native town Trujillo, and buried in the church of Santa Maria Mayor in 1545.

Garcia Gutierrez, Antonio (1812-1884), Spanish dramatist, was born at Chiclana (Cadiz) on the 5th of July 1812, e and studied medicine in his native town. In 1832 he removed to Madrid, and earned a scanty living by translating plays of Scribe and the elder Dumas; despairing of success, he was on the point of enlisting when he suddenly sprang into fame as the author of El Trovador, which was played for the first time on the 1st of March 1836. Garcia Gutierrez never surpassed this first effort, which placed him among the leaders of the romantic movement in Spain, and which became known all over Europe through Verdi's music. His next great success was Simon Bocanegra (1843), but, as his plays were not lucrative, he emigrated to Spanish America, working as a journalist in Cuba and Mexico till 1850, when he returned to Spain. The best works of his later period are a zarzuela entitled El Grumete (1853), La Venganza catalana (1864) and Juan Lorenzo (1865). He became head of the archaeological museum at Madrid, and died there on the 6th of August 1884. His Poesias (1840) and another volume of lyrics, entitled Luz y tinieblas (1842), are unimportant; but the brilliant versification of his plays, and his power of analysing feminine emotions, give him a foremost place among the Spanish dramatists of the 19th century.

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