MENENDEZ Y PELAYO, MARCELINO (1856- ), Spanish scholar and critic, was born at Santander on the 3rd of November 1856. In 1871-1872 he studied under Milay Fontanals at the university of Barcelona, whence he proceeded to the central university of Madrid. His academic successes had never been surpassed; a special law was passed by the Cortes to enable him to become a professor at the age of twenty-two, and three years later he was elected a member of the Spanish Academy. But before this date (1882) he was well known throughout Spain. His first volume, Estudios criticos sobre escritores montaneses (1876), had attracted little notice, and his scholarly Horatio en Espa.no. (1877) appealed only to students. He became famous through his Ciencia espanola (1878), a collection of polemical essays defending the national tradition against the attacks of political and religious reformers. The unbending orthodoxy of this work is, if possible, still more pronounced in the Historia de los heterodoxos espaiioles (1880-1886), and the writer was hailed as the champion of the ultramontane party. His lectures (1881) on Calder6n established his reputation as a literary critic; and his work as an historian of Spanish literature was continued in his Historia de las ideas estiticas en Espana (1881-1891), his edition (1890-1903) of Lope de Vega, his Antologta de poetas llricos castettanos (1890-1906), and his Origenes de la navela (1905).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)