10 Facts About Almeida Garrett


Joao Baptista da Silva Leitao de Almeida Garrett, 1st Viscount of Almeida Garrett was a Portuguese poet, orator, playwright, novelist, journalist, politician, and a peer of the realm.

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Almeida Garrett proposed the construction of the D Maria II National Theatre and the creation of the Conservatory of Dramatic Art.

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At an early age, around 4 or 5 years old, Garrett changed his name to Joao Baptista da Silva Leitao, adding a name from his godfather and altering the order of his surnames.

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Almeida Garrett had just married the beautiful Luisa Candida Midosi who was only 12 or 13 years old at the time and was the sister of his friend Luis Frederico Midosi, later married to Maria Teresa Achemon, both related to theatre and children of Jose Midosi and wife Ana Candida de Ataide Lobo.

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In 1843, Almeida Garrett published Romanceiro e Cancioneiro Geral, a collection of folklore; two years later, he wrote the first volume of his historical novel O Arco de Santana.

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Nobled by Dona Maria II of Portugal in 1852 with the title of 1st Viscount of Almeida Garrett, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs for only a few days in the same year.

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Almeida Garrett ended his relationship with Luisa Midosi and divorced in 1835 to join 17-year-old Adelaide Deville Pastor in 1836 – she was to remain his partner until her early death in 1839, leaving a daughter named Maria Adelaide, whose early life tragedy and illegitimacy inspired her father to write the play Frei Luis de Sousa.

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Almeida Garrett died of cancer in Lisbon at 6:30 in the afternoon of 9 December 1854.

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Almeida Garrett was buried at the Cemetery of Prazeres and, on 3 May 1903, his remains were transferred to the national pantheon in the Jeronimos Monastery, where they rest near to those of Alexandre Herculano and Luis Vaz de Camoes.

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Almeida Garrett had a sister Maria Amalia de Almeida Garrett, who married in the Azores where they were then living with Francisco de Meneses de Lemos e Carvalho and had female issue.

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