José Duarte Ramalho Ortigão
(October 24, 1836 – September 27, 1915) was a Portuguese writer of the late 19th century and early 20th century. He spent his early years with his maternal grandmother in Oporto.
Ortigão studied law in the University of Coimbra
but he did not complete his studies. After returning to his home town, he taught French
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
at a college run by his father. Among his students, was Eça de Queiroz.
In 1862 he dedicated himself to journalism and became a literary critic at the Diário do Porto
and contributed to several literary magazines.
At this period Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...
was the dominant trend in Portuguese literature, led by several major writers including Camilo Castelo Branco
Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo-Branco,1st Viscount de Correia Botelho , was a prolific Portuguese writer of the 19th century, having authored over 260 books . His writing is, overall, considered original in that it combines the dramatic and sentimental spirit of Romanticism with a highly personal...
and António Augusto Soares de Passos
António Augusto Soares de Passos was a Portuguese poet, creator of the "Ultra-Romanticism". Son of merchants and a follower of the Liberal ideas, having learned French and English during his youth, he entered at the University of Coimbra to graduate in Law...
, who influenced Ortigão. In the 1870s, a group of students from Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...
began to promote new ideas in a reaction against romanticism. This group, eventually called the 70s Generation
, was to have a major influence on Portuguese literature. As a supporter of romanticism, Ortigão became involved in a struggle against them and even fought a duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...
with Antero de Quental
Antero Tarquínio de Quental , old spelling Anthero, , a Portuguese poet, philosopher and writer, whose works became a milestone in the Portuguese language, alongside those of Camões or Bocage....
. In spite of this early opposition he afterwards became friendly with some members of the group. It was at this period that he wrote O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra
and created the satirical journal As Farpas
, both in collaboration with Eça de Queiroz. When Queirós became a diplomat, initially in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...
, Ortigão continued As Farpas
Ortigão also worked as a translator. In 1874 he produced a Portuguese translation of the English satirical novel Ginx's Baby
by Edward Jenkins.
Ramalho Ortigão died in Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...
on September 27, 1915.