Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Juanito Santa Cruz

Juanito Santa Cruz (hwah-NEE-toh SAHN-tah crewz), the protagonist in a realistic four-volume novel of bourgeois life in Madrid in the 1870’s. He is without morals or scruples.

Bárbara Santa Cruz

Bárbara Santa Cruz (BAHR-bah-rah), Juanito’s mother and the proprietor of a dry-goods store established by the family in the previous century. She spoils her son.

Plácido Estupiña

Plácido Estupiña (PLAH-see-doh ehs-tew-peen-YAH), a part-time smuggler and her adviser.


Fortunata (fohr-tew-NAH-tah), a lively, attractive lower-class woman who becomes Juanito’s mistress. Later she marries Maximiliano. She dies of exposure while seeking revenge for Jacinta and herself.


Petusin (peh-tew-SEEN), the illegitimate son of Juanito and Fortunata.


Jacinta (hah-SEEN-tah), Juanito’s placid, beautiful cousin, chosen by his mother to be his wife. She cannot have children.

Maximiliano Rubín

Maximiliano Rubín (mahks-ee-mee-lee-AH-noh rrew-BEEN), the ugly, schizophrenic orphan son of a goldsmith. He marries Fortunata.


Lupe (LEW-peh), Maximiliano’s aunt, who warns Fortunata against the marriage.

Juan Pablo Rubín

Juan Pablo Rubín (hwahn PAHB-loh), one of Maximiliano’s brothers, a loafer.

Colonel Evaristo Feijóo

Colonel Evaristo Feijóo (eh-vahr-EES-toh feh-ee-HOH-oh), an elderly protector of Fortunata.

Guillermina Pancheco

Guillermina Pancheco (gee-yehr-MEE-nah pahn-CHAY-koh), at whose house Jacinta learns of her husband’s infidelity.

The Widow Samaniego

The Widow Samaniego (sah-mahn-ee-EH-goh), the owner of a drugstore, who employs Maximiliano.


Aurora (ow-ROH-rah), her flashy daughter, who attracts Juanito. They become lovers.

Moreno Isla

Moreno Isla (mohr-EH-noh EES-lah), whose proposition is refused by the faithful Jacinta.

Fortunata and Jacinta Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Gullón, Agnes Money. “The Bird Motif and the Introductory Motif: Structure in Fortunata y Jacinta.” Anales Galdosianos 9 (1974): 51-75. Describes a “bird motif” as it appears in its various manifestations throughout the novel, as well as an “introductory motif” at the head of each of the novel’s four parts. Explores the novel’s intricate structural components.

Pattison, Walter T. Benito Pérez Galdós. Boston: Twayne, 1975. A concise and informative biography of Pérez Galdós. Chapter 7 dwells rather extensively on Fortunata and Jacinta.

Ribbans, Geoffrey. “Contemporary History in the Structure and Characterization of Fortunata y Jacinta.” In Galdós Studies, edited by J. E. Varey. London: Tamesis Books, 1970. Elucidates Pérez Galdós references to specific historical, political, and social events in nineteenth century Spain. Discusses the manner in which Pérez Galdós integrates fact and fiction.

Shoemaker, William H. The Novelistic Art of Galdós. 2 vols. Valencia: Albatros Ediciones Hispanofila, 1980. Volume 1 of this work is a broad literary critique of Pérez Galdós’ novels in their entirety. Volume 2 examines each of the novels in turn.

Turner, Harriet S. Fortunata and Jacinta. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1972. Thorough introduction to the novel. Detailed discussions of the sociohistorical, structural, and metaphorical aspects of Pérez Galdós’ masterwork.