Spanish novelist and dramatist, b. Canary Islands.
At 20 he went to Madrid, where he spent most of his adult life.
For his masterly treatment of the vast panorama of Spanish society,
he has been called the greatest Spanish novelist since Cervantes.
His many works include a cycle of 46 historical novels, Episodios
nacionales, which relates episodes in Spanish history from 1805
to the end of the century. DoU+00F1a Perfecta (1876, tr. 1880) and
La familia de LeU+00F3n Roch (1878, tr. 1886) are among his better-known
Fortunata and Jacinta (1886U+201387, tr. 1986), his four-volume
masterpiece, contrasts the lives of two women of widely different
classes. His plays were less successful than his novels.
In 1897 he was elected to the Royal Academy, and in 1907 he became
deputy of the republican party in Madrid. He went blind in 1912
but continued to dictate his books until his death. Other works
in English translation are Tristana (tr. 1961) and Compassion (tr.