Manuel Antonio Martínez Murguía

Category: Writer, historian
Birth Date: 17th May 1833 (†1st February 1923)
Birth Place: Arteixo - (A Coruña)

When Murguía was still a child he moved with his family to Santiago. Between 1843 and 1848 he studied Latin and Humanities. In 1850 he took his degree in Arts at Santiago University . In 1853, he moved to Madrid and established literary and political relationships that made it possible for him to write for newspapers and collaborate in some magazines. He took part in La Iberia, La Crónica de ambos mundos, El Museo Universal, Las novedades, El Correo Universal and so forth. On 10th October 1858, he married Rosalía de Castro at the Church of St Ildefonso in Madrid. A year later Murguía became the editor of the newspaper El Diario de La Coruña, which implied the closure of his first life-stage in Madrid. From now on he would basically live in Galicia until his death except for a brief break in Simancas and Madrid. On 17th May 1913 he was given a great homage as he was 80 years old. Before his death he could attend to the birth of the Irmandades da Fala (1916) and the first Nationalist Assembly, which was celebrated in Lugo in 1918.

 Work & Activities

NOVEL In 1850, when he was only seventeen years old, he wrote his first novel titled Desde el cielo, which will be published four years later in Madrid. Almost all his stories and novels date from the 50's: La Virgen de la Servilleta (1852), Luisa (1852), Un can-can de mussard (1853), Un Artista (1853), El regalo de boda (1855), Mi madre Antonia (1856), El ángel de la muerte (1857), Don Diego Gelmírez (1859) and La mujer de fuego (1859). HISTORY In 1856, he published an article about Galician History in the newspaper La Oliva. His interest in Galician history and culture showed very early in his work La primera luz (The first light), which was first published in 1852. From 1860 onwards some new titles would announce his mature work: De las guerras de Galicia en el siglo XV de su verdadero carácter (1861), Diccionario de escritores gallegos (1862), which was left unfinished and Las efemérides de Galicia (1865). The year 1865 was very important for Galician History because the first volume of his work Historia de Galicia was published. The second volume would be published in 1866. In 1878, he took part in the promotion of the fortnightly magazine La Ilustración de Galicia y Asturias. However, it was not very successful. In 1882 he continued with the series of his two greater works writing Estudios sobre la propiedad territorial en Galicia. El foro. Sus orígenes, su historia y sus condiciones. With this work he won a prize at the contest of the Floral Games in Pontevedra and it was published in Madrid that same year. Then he would write Galicia (Barcelona, 1888) and the volumes III (A Coruña, 1888) and IV (A Coruña, 1891) of his work Historia de Galicia. The volume V was left unfinished. Having left Madrid and back again in Galicia, he published Los Precursores in 1885. From this year onwards he collaborated in magazines and newspapers and made some speeches about Galician regionalism. When regionalism started to weaken, Murguía worked again as archivist, scholar and historian. In 1898, he published a book, which was dedicated to archbishop Xelmírez and in 1905 a book dedicated to the Galician troubadours.

 Other Interesting Aspects

The Galician Academy dedicated him ?O Día das Letras Galegas? (The Day of the Galcian Letters) in 2000.