Correspondence of Juan Valera

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Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788498168730
Hardcover ISBN: 9788498973129
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788498163148

SKU: 9788498970296 Category: Tags: ,

Juan Valera’s Correspondence is a reflection of his intense life as a traveler and diplomat. His letters, initially addressed to his parents, are full of references to numerous celebrities of his time and are, moreover, an intelligent testimony to the state of affairs of European politics and economics during the second half of the nineteenth century.
As an example to understand the breadth of vision of the Correspondence of Juan Valera, this brief chronology, made from the summary of this edition, where you can see his enormous activity as a traveler and man of the world. Valera writes from different countries and continents without losing perspective of the local reality and the global context:

  • Madrid, January 1847
  • Naples, April 1847
  • Cadiz, August 23, 1850
  • Lisbon, August 28, 1850
  • Rio de Janeiro, April 10, 1853
  • Dresden, 7 February 1855
  • Berlin, 26 November 1856
  • Warsaw, November 30, 1856
  • St. Petersburg, December 10, 1856
  • Frankfurt, 20 June 1857
  • Paris, June 23, 1857

Madrid, January 1847
My dear mother, You cannot imagine how many projects of all kinds are in my head, and yet how ordered they are, and how philosophically moderate the desires I have to carry them out so that I do not suffer much any désappointement that ensues.
Among all my castles in the air, the one that makes me fall in love the most is to see how to make Dad a senator, without him wanting or pretending it, because this is, I believe, the best way to open the doors of diplomacy to me.
You will know that Mr. Pidal, Minister of the Interior, is the one who proposes, in the Council of Ministers, the people he judges most purposely to be appointed senators. Now: Calvo Rubio is a close friend of Pidal, and, like the other deputies for Córdoba, he has great interest, or at least must have it, because there is in the Senate some character of his, and, my father being the most purposeful for the case, it will not be strange that they fix the attention on him and tear him out of his retirement with such an honorific position. A few days ago, Mr. Calvo Rubio spoke to Uncle Agustín in this regard, and they agreed to do everything possible to be named. We will see what results from our manoeuvres.
Last night I was at Montijo’s house. This lady received me very affectionately and invited me to the ball that will take place next Sunday, in celebrity of the days of the beautiful Eugenia, her youngest daughter, who is a diabolical girl who, with a childish coquetry, squeaks, fusses and does all the antics of a six-year-old boy, being at the same time the most fashionable lady of this town and court, So little short of genius, and so bossy, so fond of gymnastic exercises and the incense of good young gentlemen, and, finally, so adorably ill-mannered, that almost, it can almost be assured that her future husband will be a martyr of this celestial, noble and, above all, very rich creature.
The lady countess made a very long speech to us about the advantages that result from being great in Spain, and proving to the evidence that the parvenus are a scoundrel who at every step discover the ear, however speculately aristocratic they want to seem. He proved, moreover, with solid reasons that knights of high nobility are those who know how to have good manners and fine education, and that they are distinguished leagues among a thousand parvenus. This speech was, with much freshness, addressed to a Don Juan F• • •, who was there, and who dared to say that there were many badly bred dukes and counts, stupid and without knowledge, in which he was not very wrong, although he was in saying it in that place. I followed in everything the opinion of the countess, without remembering that she was not great of Spain, just as she did not remember having been Mariquita Kirkpatrik, and our opponent, crushed under the weight of the most solid historical-philosophical arguments, had to leave ashamed and almost convinced that he was a poor devil.
As soon as the dispute was over, Peña Aguayo entered, and no doubt that if this modern Ulpiano had arrived in time, he would have also defended our cause, since it is already known that his aristocratic instincts are very great.
Then came the Marchioness of Villanueva de las Torres, that of Palacios, with her daughter; those of Moreno, Juanito Comín, the Marquis of Valgornera and several other people, the most interesting being for me my former lover, the Countess of C• • •, who, with her unfortunate husband, came from Varieties. And I say unfortunate, for not being little misfortune that awaits a married man when his wife is as nervous, sentimental and fashionably unwrapped and cheerful of helmets as my dear Paulina. I talked to her a lot, and she herself remembered our old loves. And she almost gave me to understand that her husband was hated to her, and that she missed the times of her early youth, for her very happy. With all these advances, you can already imagine that I would not be very peaceful, so there were tramples and languid looks; She offered me the house, told me to go visit her, that all day she was alone, and also put in my news the time she went out, where she was going to walk and when her worthy consort used to be away from home. A good outcome can be expected from these events, although Pauline is as stupid as before, and this defect disappoints me a little.
Tonight we have a function in the Lyceum and I plan to go, although the people of tone do not attend, and the aristocratic ladies disdain to mix with so many species of little people as they go to these parties, too crowded and plebeian in the day.
In another email I will talk to you about what you see and understand in them, which I believe, despite what the upper classes say, that they must be fun.

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