Francisco de Paula Martínez de la Rosa Berdejo Gómez y Arroyo was born in Granada to a bourgeois family on March 10, 1787. He was soon admired for his prodigious intellectual abilities, and by age twelve, he had already entered his hometown’s university. In 1804, he received a Ph.D. in civil law, and in April, 1805, he was awarded the chair of philosophy at the University of Granada. That same year marked his beginnings in the poetic genre with some religious odes that he composed for the festival of Corpus Christi. Among his literary contacts, José Joaquín de Mora, noted later for his Romantic polemic with Juan Nicolás Böhl de Faber, contributed to his acceptance in the Cádiz literary circle of Antonio María Alcalá Galiano, who would become another important Romantic spokesman.
During the war against Napoleon, in 1810, Martínez de la Rosa sailed from Cádiz to London. There he met José María Blanco White, who introduced him to English parliamentary government, which Martínez de la Rosa defended in “La revolución actual de España.” Upon his return to the besieged city of Cádiz, he was elected to the first Spanish Parliament, the Cortes, and premiered his two first plays. Later he stood out as a leader of the liberal group that unsuccessfully tried to persuade Ferdinand VII to accept the new constitution. Jailed in 1814, Martínez de la Rosa wrote poems and a tragedy, Morayma.
With Rafael del Riego’s liberal...
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