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Valera Y Alcala Galiano

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VALERA Y ALCALA GALIANO, Juan, hoo-an' va-la' al-ka-la' ga-k"-a'-no, Spanish statesman and author: b. Cabra, near Cordova, 18 Oct. 1824; d. Madrid, 18 April 1905. He studied at Granada, darned from jurisprudence to a diplomatic career, and was secretary of le gation successively at Naples, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Dresden and Saint Petersburg. Then he returned to Spain and wrote for El Contem poraneo, the organ of the opposition to O'Don nell. In 1859 he became deputy, and Minister of Commerce and Agriculture. After serving as Ambassador at Frankfort, he took part in the Spanish revolution of 1868. Subsequently he was Ambassador to Lisbon, Washington (1884 86), Brussels and Vienna. He was also made a member of the senate, the council of state and the Spanish Academy. While thus promi nent in public affairs, his best efforts were nevertheless given to literature. His verse was finely wrought, but was criticized as the expres sion rather of wide culture than of poetic inspi ration, and his criticisms for a certain courtesy which interferes with a clear and impartial judgment. His work in prose fiction assured him a high place not only in Spanish but in general literature. His 'Pepita Jimenez' (1874)

marked the revival of Spanish fiction, and the detachment from French patterns. His work steadily improved, and he treated with equal skill dialogue and description, the short story and the long. He was particularly praised for a "complete synthesis of gravity of matter and gaiety of manner." Among the titles of his further works were 'Las Ilusiones del Doctor Faustined (1876);