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Eca De Queiros (1845 - 1900)

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  • Eca de Queiros was born in 1845 at Povoa de Varzim in northern Portugal, the son of a magistrate. After studying law, he travelled widely and entered the diplomatic service. Married, and with four children, Eca was known as a genial host, a raconteur, wit, dandy, aesthete and bon viveur. He served as consul in Havana, Bristol and Paris, where he died in 1900.

    Eca's travel articles, essays and short stories first brought him to the notice of the Portuguese literary establishment. His early novels, The Crime of Father Amaro (1876) and Cousin Bazilio (1878), won him recognition as a writer of European stature. While Eca's most significant literary influence was the French naturalist tradition of Flaubert, Balzac and Zola, his novels have their own distinctive voice: urbane, exact, amused and ironic. Eca's exposure of the greed, pretensions and hypocrisies of his society is tempered by a warm sympathy for human frailty and a poignant sense of the fragility of happiness. His enjoyment of everyday life and his sense of the unpredictability of individual destiny give his novels an enduring immediacy.

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