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Mendoza, Antonio Hurtado De

MENDOZA, ANTONIO HURTADO DE (1593?-1644), Spanish dramatist, was born about the end of the 16th century in the province of Asturias, became page to the count de Saldana (son of the duke de Lerma), and was recognized as a rising poet by Cervantes in the Viaje del Parnaso (1614). He rose rapidly into favour under Philip IV., who appointed him private secretary, commissioned from him comedias palaciegas for the royal theatre at Aranjuez, and in 1623 conferred on him the orders of Santiago and Calatrava. Most of his contemporaries and rivals paid court to " el discrete de palacio," and Mendoza seems to have lived on the friendliest terms with all his brotherdramatists except Ruiz de Alarc6n. He is said to have been involved in the fall of Olivares, and died unexpectedly at Saragossa on the 1pth of September 1644. Only one of his plays, Querer par silo querer, was published with his consent; it is included in a volume (1623) containing his semi-official account of the performances at Aranjuez in 1622. The best edition of Mendoza's plays and verses bears the title of Obras liricas y cdmicas, divinas y humanas (1728). Much of his work does not rise above the level of graceful and accomplished verse; but that he had higher qualities is shown by El Marido hace mujer, a brilliant comedy of manners, which forms the chief source of Moliere's Ecole des maris.

The Fiesta que se hizo en Aranjuez and Querer par solo querer were translated into English by Sir Richard Fanshawe, afterwards ambassador at Madrid, in a posthumous volume published in 1671.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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