Menéndez y Pelayo, Marcelino

Menéndez y Pelayo, Marcelino

(märthālē`nō mānān`dĕth ē pālä`yō), 1856–1912, Spanish literary historian and critic. His vast contribution to Spanish scholarship includes Historia de los heterodoxos españoles (1880–82), a panoramic history of Spain; Historia de las ideas estéticas en España (1883–91), an equally panoramic cultural history of Spain; an anthology of Castilian poetry (13 vol., 1890–1908); an important anthology of Latin American poetry (1893–95). His masterpiece was the Orígines de la novela española (1905–15).

Menéndez y Pelayo, Marcelino


Born Nov. 3, 1856, in Santander, Spain; died there May 19, 1912. Spanish literary critic and cultural historian. Member of the Royal Spanish Academy (1880).

Menéndez y Pelayo belonged to the school of cultural history in literary criticism. In his works he emphasized the democratic and humanistic aspects of Spanish culture. His History of Aesthetic Ideas in Spain (1883-91) surveys Spanish aesthetic thought up to the 19th century. His Anthology of the Lyrical Poetry of Castile (vols. 1-14, 1890-1916) contains the most significant works of medieval Spanish poetry, including folk poetry. Menéndez y Pelayo’s The Origin of the Novel (vols. 1-4, 1905-15) gives a history of the development of Spanish prose during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Menéndez y Pelayo was the author of Calderón and His Theater (1881) and Studies on the Theater of Lope de Vega (vols. 1-6, 1919-27); he also wrote studies on Cervantes and Tirso de Molina. Other works include The History of Spanish-American Poetry (1911-13), the first scholarly work on the history of the poetry of Latin America, Spanish Science (1876), and A History of Spanish Heretics (vols. 1-3, 1880-81).


Edición nacional de las obras completas, vols. 1-64. Santander, 1940-56.


Artigas, M. La vida y la obra de Menéndez y Pelayo. Zaragoza, 1939.
Simón Díaz, J. Estudios sobre Menéndez y Pelayo. Madrid, 1954.
Alonso, D. Menéndez y Pelayo crítico literario. Madrid [1956].