In any case, to learn more about these and other authors, you can consult the Literary Atlas of the Province of Jaén, available at the Institute of Studies of Jaén (IEG):
Plaza San Juan de Dios, 2, 23004, Jaén.
953 248000 ext. 4125
The Literary Atlas of the Province of Jaén has information on authors born in Jaén, or whose work refer to Jaén, as well as reference works on Jaén and its authors.
Next, you can find part of the information that can be consulted in the Literary Atlas of the Province of Jaén, highlighting some authors as a sample.
Francisco de Quevedo Villegas
He was born in the bosom of a noble mountain family, being the son of the private secretary serving Princess María and, later, Queen Ana. He was trained at the Imperial College of the Jesuits and at the University of Alcalá de Henares, taking shape as a cultivated humanist especially interested in philology and philosophy, and particularly Seneca and the Stoics.
He was a writer at the Court and one of the most important poets of the Golden Age together with his eternal rival Luis de Góngora, with whom he had an intellectual quarrel for most of his life.
He is the author of a vast poetic corpus that, however, was not printed during the author’s lifetime or under his supervision, hence its subsequent compilation has been so difficult for scholars.
The great poet and prose writer maintained a close relationship with some important figures from Jaén, which led to several visits to these lands. It is known, for example, that on more than one occasion he went to Beas de Segura to see his friend Don Sancho de Sandoval, with whom he also shared a fluent correspondence.
He also repeatedly visited Segura de la Sierra, where another great friend of his lived: Don Alonso Messía de Leiva, who carried out important work in the final drafting of some of the author’s texts.
His relationship with Jaén is confirmed in some of his works. At this point, it is worth mentioning the sonnet dedicated to Lisi, where he described with great plasticity in the quartets certain places in the Segura mountains, especially the mighty Guadalquivir river. But a much more exhaustive description of these places, and specifically of Segura de la Sierra, can be found in his miscellany “The Helmet of Sierra de Segura” (El yelmo de Segura de la Sierra), wrapped in references to classical mythology. Moreover, in a romance, dedicated to the itinerary that Quevedo himself followed from Madrid to the Torre de Juan Abad, and in which he made a getaway to Segura de la Sierra, he refers to this place as “a buck of the world”.
Finally, it is worth o mentioning a letter, dated in Andújar and addressed to the Marqués de la Velada and San Román, in which he relates a trip through Andalusia accompanied by King Ferdinand IV in February 1624, where he provides interesting data related to places in Jaen that were within his itinerary.
Miguel de Cervantes and Saavedra
Spanish soldier, writer, novelist, poet and playwright. Worldwide known for having written what is possibly the first novel in history and a great reference in world literature The ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. It is the most edited and translated book in history, second only to the Bible.
The great writer of Spanish letters, made an appearance in Jaén. Indeed, it is well known that Cervantes spent some years of his life in Andalusia as a tax collector, a role in which he did not always do well, to the point of being forced to atone for his guilt in the Seville prison.
During the years 1591-1592, as commissioner under Pedro de Isunza, he visited various towns in Jaén. The main biographers of Cervantes (Fernández Navarrete, Cotarelo y Mori, Navarro Ledesma, Astrana Marín …) mention the following: Linares, Martos, Porcuna, Arjona, Marmolejo, Lopera, Arjonilla, Las Navas, Begíjar, Alcaudete, Villanueva del Arzobispo , Jaén, Úbeda and Baeza.
However, there is no known supporting documentation for all these places. In some cases it is even known that Cervantes entrusted another person with the collection task. In some of them, as in the Provincial Historical Archive of Jaén, we do find documentation with his signature, which proves the presence of the writer in the capital of the Holy Kingdom. Nor is it the case of Lopera, where it is known that Cervantes was collecting cereal for the Invincible Armada between February 22 and 25, 1592. A grain that was kept in the Casa de la Tercia, which at that time was the Granary of the town of Lopera, destined to store cereal for loan to neighbors in times of scarcity. You can visit the Casa de la Tercia on this literary route and enjoy its exhibition of color photographs of the Spanish Civil War.
In any case, the certain presence in other places in the province of Jaén and the fact that he was commissioned to collect the contributions, makes us think that he would be aware of the news related to the life and customs of the inhabitants of the towns entrusted to him, and that time and time again he would walk his paths, stay in inns of different categories and converse with the most varied people, thus obtaining first-hand story material for the construction of his novels. Due to these circumstances it should not be surprising that throughout his work there are references to characters, anecdotes and events related to the province of Jaén.
In Cervantes’s texts, we can find references that are related to his travels to our land, such as the text that refers to the well-known adventure of the dead body narrated in Don Quixote and that all Cervantes critics agree in relating to the stealthy transfer of the body of San Juan de la Cruz from Úbeda to Segovia in 1593, two years after the death of the illustrious Carmelite.
This fact caused great commotion in the city of Los Cerros, which started a lawsuit that would not be settled until 1607. According to tradition, the procession that carried the body of the saint was interrupted, in the opinion of some, next to the Peña de Martos, on his way to Montilla, and according to others, on the way from Madrid to Segovia.
Another reference can be found in the author’s second great novel,The Wanderings of Persiles and Sigismunda, published a year after his death. In the long pilgrimage of the protagonists of the work, when they are in Spanish lands, they
meet a pilgrim who plans to visit, among other places, Santa Verónica of Jaén and the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza de Andújar. Of this last place she makes a rich description that causes the admiration of her interlocutors.
With all this data, both in the documents found and in his own literary work, we cannot ignore the fact that the writer of Alcalá de Henares left his mark in the province of Jaén.
Later he would move to live in Valladolid, where, with more pain than glory, he would get to publish his novel of Don Quixote and later to Madrid where he would spend the rest of his days. Fortunately, today, we recognize him as the great Spanish author that he has become, as well as for being the great universal reference of Spanish letters.
Camilo José Cela
Born in Padrón, a province in Coruña, on May 11, 1916, Camilo José Cela is recognized as one of the most important Spanish writers of the 20th century.
His academic initiation began in Vigo and later in Madrid, the city to which his family moved in 1925. During his university stage, he began medical studies that he would not finish. In this environment, he attended literary gatherings and met Alonso Zamora, Miguel Hernández, María Zambrano or Max Aub, among others.
His literary career is marked by the Civil War. With a strong right-wing ideology, Cela fought on the national side until he was wounded. After the conflict, he began to work as a journalist at the service of the Franco regime, both as a confidant and as a censor. That collaboration with the dictatorship was always maintained in a tug of war that Cela used for several years. From that early period came his first novel The Family of Pascual Duarte (1942), possibly the one with the greatest impact on Spanish society and which would be taken to the cinema years later.
In 1956 he traveled to Mallorca where, together with Caballero Bonald, he founded the magazine Son Armandan Papers. Also in this period he created the Alfaguara publishing house where he published his texts.
Some of his works, despite the collaboration with the dictatorship, were completely censored and his first editions, such as The Hive (1951), were printed in Argentina.
He was chosen in 1957 to occupy the Q chair of the Royal Academy of the Language, where he developed a remarkable career as an academic.
His connection with the province of Jaén is given through his work First Andalusian Trip: notes of a wandering through Jaén, Córdoba, Seville, Huelva and their lands (1959). This novel connects with his most famous novel Trip to Alcarria (1948) which, although it is considered narrated or fictionalized fiction, also has overtones of the genre of periegesis or travel books.
It is n this line that the First Andalusian Trip was born, in which he dedicates its fourth chapter to Jaén, and describes various populations of Granada. He stayed in Úbeda and Baeza, as well as in
other towns, and also in the capital. Moreover, the book was designed by the author in collaboration with two great artists from Jaén: Rafael Zabaleta and Lorenzo Goñi, whose influences with the flavor of the land, are all over present the novel.
Among the numerous awards granted to Camilo José Cela, the Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded to him in 1989 undoubtedly, stands out. Within the scope of Castilian Letters, he obtained the highest honors with the National Critics Award (1956). Nacional de Narrativa (1984), the Prince of Asturias in 1987, the Planeta Award in 1994 and the most important in the Hispanic world, the Cervantes Prize (1995). In short, one of the most established Spanish writers of the 20th century.
Camilo José Cela died in Madrid on January 17, 2002 at the age of 85.
This poet and novelist was born in La Carolina in January 1913. As a child he went to Malaga, where his family established residence and, after studying at the German School, he entered the School of Commerce. Later he lived in Madrid, Lérida, and Barcelona, always related to books and the publishing company.
In 1939 he went into exile to France, and a few months later, after a hard experience on the other side of the Pyrenees that would serve as the subject of future stories, left the neighboring nation and embarked for Veracruz (Mexico). From 1939 to 1967 he remained in Mexico, with only a brief stay in Santiago de Chile. It is in Mexico where he founded the magazine Las Españas with José Ramón Arana and collaborated, together with Dr. Arnaldo OrPila, to the Economic Culture Fund. In 1967 he returned to Spain and settled in Madrid where he lived until his death.
Andújar represents, without a doubt, the most important Jaén contribution to the current narrative. Since the unjustly forgotten José Toral published his splendid novel “The Death-Row Inmate“ in 1923, a lot time had to pass until a novel with nerve and dramatic depth like that of Manuel Andújar´s “The Defeated” was to be published by an artist from Jaén.
Literary criticism repeatedly insists on linking him with Galdós and the Generation of ’98. And so it is: his tense urgency, his accused pessimistic profiles and his accentuated love of reality, are as many ties that link him and join him with that upstream current that will begin to flow in Quevedo. In this sense, it is how we understand and admit the vision of Marra-López when he defines him as a “writer of clear Castilian stock”.
As a poet, Andújar is a thrill seeker with extensive resources for expression and remarkable findings. He has also rehearsed theater with a renewing spirit and complex technique. But its essential position is in the harsh, serious and strongly testimonial narrative. He died in Madrid in April 1994.
Patrocinio de Biedma y Lamoneda
Born in Begíjar on March 13, 1845, she was a writer and columnist, whose feminist thinking and deep intellectuality make her the most relevant personality in the town.
In 1863 she married José María de Quadros y Arellano, a native of Baeza and son of the Marquis of San Miguel de la Vega, and the young couple went to live in the town of Baeza. At the age of twenty-eight, she became a widow, on February 9, 1873, and also got to see the three children of her marriage die.
The death of the former child prompted her to write “Elegy in Memory of the Child Don José María del Olvido Quadros de Biedma, Who Died at Six Years of Age (1874); The Prayer to my Son José del Olvido; and Echoes of Love. To my Son José del Olvido, published in La Margarita (1874).
As a poet, she covered very diverse genres, eventually publishing in Dutch collections, such as Garland of Thoughts or Memories of an Angel, with clear influences of Romanticism.
Her narrative production began with Blanca (1870), followed by 18 more novels and 4 short stories, named Episodes by the author. His last novel, La Little Dutchess (1892), is a tribute to the people of Jaén.
In 1877, accompanied by her friend, Princess Rattazzi, she settled in Cádiz. In this city she founded and directed the Cádiz magazine and, in 1878, she founded and presided over the Literary Federation of Andalusia.
She remarried to José Rodríguez y Rodríguez, director of the Gaditana Chronicle and chief archivist of the Provincial Council, with Alfonso XII as godfather.
In 1888 she took part in the Congress for the Protection of Children held in her city, being awarded the distinguished Cross of the Civil Order of First Class Charity.
In 1898 she was appointed vice-president in Spain of the “Ligue des femmes pour le desarmement international” (Women’s League for International Disarmament).
On June 10, 1914, her second husband died, but far from falling into a withered widowhood, she continued with her activity as a cultural entertainer, which led her to collaborate, signing as “Ticiano Imab”, in numerous publications such as Home Angel, The Discussion, The Margarita, The Bazaar, The Criticism, The Iberia, The Echo of Europe, Magazine of Andalusia, Flowers and Pearls, The Epoch, The Catholic Illustration, The Popular Museum, The Correspondence of Spain, The Imperial, The Summary, Black and White, The Ibero-American Album, Catholic Magazine of Social Issues, Gallery of Unfortunates, Madrid; The Illustrated World, The Illustration of Women, The Iberian Illustration of Barcelona, among others.
Likewise, her collaborations with the publications of her native land were very numerous: The Álbum Of Industrial of Jaén with 28 poems, Poetic Gifts to the Virgen de la Capilla (1866-72), The Zero of Jaén (1867-68), The Catholic Faith of Jaén (1869-70).
The end of her life came in Cádiz on September 14, 1927.
Rafael Lainez Alcala
He was born in Peal de Becerro in 1899. He was a professor of art, writer and poet of Jaén. He completed his first studies at the national school of his town and continued to high school at the Colegio de Jesús de Úbeda. In Baeza he completed his high school stage at the General and Technical Institute of Second Education where he had personal contact with the poet Antonio Machado.
At the age of thirteen, Rafael Láinez began to publish his chronicles as a Peal correspondent for the newspaper “La Regeneración” and to collaborate in the magazine “Don Lope de Sosa”, both directed by Alfredo Cazabán Laguna.
He moved to Madrid to obtain a degree that was interrupted by the African War in which he participated and from which he sent war chronicles.
On his return, he completed a degree in Philosophy and in 1928 he obtained a doctorate with a thesis entitled Contributions to the biography of Don Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, bishop of Jaén and archbishop of Toledo and protector of Cervantes, which would be published as the winner of the Larragoiti prize.
In this same year he began his teaching career, first as an assistant professor of Art History at the Complutense University and then at the San Fernando Superior School of Fine Arts until after the Civil War, when he joined the School of Arts and Crafts of Madrid.
In 1945 he obtained his first chair of Art History at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife) but it would not be until 1949 when he obtained his definitive chair at the University of Salamanca.
This is the starting point of his period of greatest literary and journalistic production. He also commits to promoting the dissemination of artistic heritage through hi intense conference activity.
In 1969 he was appointed adoptive son of Salamanca on the occasion of his retirement. He collaborates with the Center for Historical Studies, the Higher Council for Scientific Research and the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid.
Of his abundant literary production, What stands out are his works for newspapers: “The Regeneration”, “Homeland”, “The Province”, “Landscape”, “The Sphere”, “The Annual of Advancement of Cazorla”, “Don Lope de Sosa” or the magazine “Spanish Archive of Art and Archeology”.
As for his major works, we can count his thesis, already referred to, and “Pedro Berruguete, Painter from Castile” ; biographical critical essay awarded in 1934 with the National Prize for Literature.
Láinez always maintained a close collaboration with Jaén, which would earn him the appointment of an honorary chronicler of Úbeda and a founding member of the Institute of Studies of Jaén.
He also donated the City Council of his hometown an important archive of great value for understanding the Spanish intellectual movement of the 20th century.
Years later, the City Council of this municipality enriched this personal archive by acquiring the other part, rescuing for the people a complete legacy of great interest.
During 2007 the Provincial Council of Jaén proceeded to materialize the project that meets the request of the Peal de Becerro City Council to organize his personal archive and catalog his library. The collection includes: personal documentation, appraisals, literary and scientific production, academic, institutional and photographic documentation, as well as posters, plates, drawings, maps and tables.
This special research program was proposed and developed by the Institute of Studies of Jaén.