Writer (1824 - 1905)
Juan Valera was born on October 18th, 1824 in Cabra, Córdoba to an aristocratic family. However, his father was persecuted and jailed in the days of Fernando VII due to his liberal ideals. Valera attended university in both Granada and Madrid. He subsequently entered the diplomatic service as a companion of the Duke of Rivas, the Ambassador in Naples, where he dedicated his time to reading and Greek studies. He also travelled to Portugal, Russia, Brazil, USA, Belgium and Austria.
In 1861, Valera was admitted to the Real Academia Española and wrote various newspaper articles and essays, such as "Sobre el Quijote" (1864). He later wrote several books which revealed his extraordinary literary talent, including "Pepita Jiménez" (1873), "Las Ilusiones del Doctor Faustino (1875), "Doña Luz" (1879), and "Juanita la Larga" (1895).
Juan Valera married in 1867 and had three children: Carlos, Luís and Carmen. In 1887 the family moved to Brussels where his son Luís worked in the Spanish Embassy under his father.
Juan Valera died in Madrid on 18th April, 1905.