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Alejandro Herculano de Carvalho e Araujo

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Born at Lisbon, 28 March, 1810; died near Santarem, 13 Sept., 1877. Because of his liberal principles, he was forced to flee from his native land during the despotic times of Dom Miguel, and therefore he was in Paris in 1828, and during 1830 and 1831 in England. When he returned home, in 1832, he was already imbued with the doctrines of romanticism which Almeida Garrett preached so loudly in Portugal, and which he had seen exemplified in the literatures of England and France. Prominent already as a liberal in politics, he now attracted attention by his poetical work, such as the "Voz do Propheta" (1836), which reflects the influence of Lamennais' "Paroles d'un croyant", and dealt in rhythmical prose with the future of Portugal in the "Harpa do Crente" (Lisbon, 1838), which also testified to the robustness of his Catholic Faith. He entered into journalism also with the periodical "O Panorama" (1837), which he himself founded and conducted. As a romanticist, he now started upon his career as an historical novelist, with his "Monasticon", of which the first part, "Eurico o Presbytero", appeared in 1844, and the sequel, "O Monge de Cister", in 1848. With these stories, of which the second has its scene laid in the reign of John I of Portugal, he really naturalized the historical novel in Portuguese. He continued the tradition with his story "O Bobo", which turns upon events in Portuguese history of the early twelfth century, and in his "Lendas e Narrativas" (1851). In this latter he gave modern form to some old legends, such as "A dama Pê-de-Cabra", "O bispo negro ", "O morte do Lidador", etc. To the period from 1846 to 1853 belongs his "Historia de Portugal" (4 vols.), which stops short with events of the end of the thirteenth century. Before retiring to his place near Santarem, he produced still other historical works, especially "Da origem e estabelecimento da inquisição em Portugal" (2 vols., Lisbon, 1854-55); afterwards he wrote the essays and treatises contained in collected form in his "Opusculos" (6 vols., 1873-84). To his patience as an historical investigator he bears testimony with the collection of documents drawn from the national archives, which he, as a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, published (Portugalliæ Monumenta Historica).

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