Dramaturgas espanolas de fines del siglo XVIII y principios del siglo XIX. El caso de Maria Rosa de Galvez

Julia Bordiga Grinstein, University of Pennsylvania


This study focuses on a group of Spanish female dramatists who flourished in the Neoclassic period. The most predominant and prolific of them all is Maria Rosa de Galvez (1768-1806) who wrote seven original tragic dramas, five original comedies, two translations, and a collection of poems. Despite her important literary production, published and represented during her life, Galvez' work was never the subject of an in-depth study and her rightful position in literary history was overshadowed by her fascinating private life. Chapter 1 reconstructs Galvez "real" life based on the impressive collection of documents discovered by the author (close to three hundred) that clear up doubts generated by her illegitimacy and her tempestuous marriage. This accurate historical background is the starting point for the analysis and interpretation of her works, as well as the identification of her comedy El egoista as her own autobiography. Chapter 2 analyzes her lyric poetry. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 study Galvez' dramatic works: translations, tragedies and comedies. A discussion on the historical and literary sources of her works provides insight regarding her motives for creating a socially and ethnically diverse gallery of female characters. Galvez' own experiences within a strict patriarchal system, first as an adoptive daughter and then, as an abused wife, led to creations that were meant to be staged and to generate immediate response from the feminine audience. Her tragic heroines, although portrayed as strongwilled characters, could not escape from oppression and freed themselves through self-inflicted death or confinement. Her comic heroines were apparently more successful because they were able to exercise their free will. Still, their achievement consisted in the manipulation of the patriarchal system that they prolongued through marriage, and not through liberation. Chapter 6 presents the biographies and summary of works of sixteen dramatists, contemporaries of Galvez, whose importance has been unduly ignored. Appendices A, B and C contain a selection of the Galvez' family and personal documents, all the information about her publications, and a table of Galvez' dramas enacted during her lifetime.

Subject Area

Romance literature|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Grinstein, Julia Bordiga, "Dramaturgas espanolas de fines del siglo XVIII y principios del siglo XIX. El caso de Maria Rosa de Galvez" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9636157.