Martínez de la Rosa, Francisco

Martínez de la Rosa, Francisco

(fränthēs`kō märtē`nĕth dā lä rō`sä), 1787–1862, Spanish dramatic poet, statesman, and historian. He was an outspoken liberal professor of philosophy, a deputy, and an ambassador. His major plays include La conjuración de Venecia [the conspiracy of Venice] (1834), a landmark of the romantic theater in Spain; Abén Humeya (in French, 1830, Span. tr. 1836); and the neoclassic Edipo [Oedipus] (1829). Among his poems the best known are the elegy entitled Epístola al duque de Frias and El recuerdo de la patria [memory of our country]. Martínez de la Rosa also wrote historical novels and political histories.

Martínez de la Rosa, Francisco


Born Mar. 10, 1787, in Granada; died Feb. 7, 1862, in Madrid. Spanish politician, historian, poet, and prose writer.

Martinez de la Rosa graduated from the University of Granada and became head of the subdepartment of philosophy there. He was involved in the Revolution of 1808-14 and was elected chairman of the Cortes in 1813. After the restoration of absolutism in 1814, he was arrested and then banished to Africa. Martinez de la Rosa returned to Spain during the Revolution of 1820-23, joined the right liberals (moderados}, and headed the constitutional government from March to July 1822. From 1823 to 1831 he lived in France. As head of the Spanish government in 1834-35 Martinez de la Rosa introduced a conservative constitution (the Royal Statute of 1834) that essentially reserved full powers to the regent, Maria Cristina. Mass unrest aroused by his policy forced him out of office, and in 1840 he left again for France. After returning to Spain in 1844, Martinez de la Rosa was minister in the cabinet of R. M. Narvaez (1845-46) and ambassador to Paris and Rome (1846-51).

Martinez de la Rosa began his literary career with poems and plays in the spirit of revolutionary patriotic classicism, such as the poem “Zaragoza” and the tragedies The Widow of Padilla (1814) and Oedipus (1829). In Notes on the Historical Drama (1830) he argued against the classical theory of genres. His historical dramas Aben Humeya and Conspiracy in Venice (both 1830) paved the way for the romantic drama in Spain, and his novel Dona Isabel de Solis did the same for the historical novel. Martinez de la Rosa also wrote Historical Investigation of Spain’s Politics From the Time of the Catholic Kings to Our Time (vols. 1-2, Madrid, 1857).


Obras, vols. 1-8. Edited and with an introductory study by Carlos Seco Serrano. Madrid, 1960-62.


Sarrailh, J. Un Homme d’etat espagnol: Martinez de la Rosa (1787-1862). Bordeaux-Paris, 1930.
Menéndez y Pelayo, M. Estudios de critica literaria, series 1. Madrid, 1893.
Sosa, L. de. MartÍnez de la Rosa, politico y poeta. Madrid-Barcelona, 1930.