Fernández Guardia, Ricardo (1867–1950)

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Fernández Guardia, Ricardo (1867–1950)

Ricardo Fernández Guardia was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica, on January 4, 1867. He began his diplomatic career alongside his father, Leon Fernández, who was the Costa Rican ambassador to London, Paris, and Madrid. Fernández Guardia was named first secretary of the Special Mission in London and secretary of the Costa Rican legation in Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain; he was also ambassador to Rome.

He was elected member of the municipality of San José; vice secretary of foreign affairs, secretary of foreign affairs, and minister of public education.

Fernández Guardia was also a prolific author. His works of fiction include Tapaligui (1892), Hojarasca (1894), Cuentos Ticos (1901, translated into English by G. Casement as Short Stories), Crónicas coloniales (1921), and Cosas y gentes de antaño (1935). He also published the nonfiction works Historia de Costa Rica and El Descubrimiento y la Conquista (1905); Cartilla histórica de Costa Rica (1909); Reseña histórica de Talamanca (1918); La independencia y otros episodios (1928); La guerra de la liga y la invasión de Quijano (1934); and five volumes of the Documentos para la Historia de Costa Rica (1907).

In 1930 he was appointed director of the National Archives, a position he held until 1940. The Constitutional Congress of Costa Rica declared him Benemérito de la Patria (Meritorious of the Mother Country), the highest distinction the country bestows on its citizens, on March 7, 1944. In 1947 the University of Costa Rica granted him an honoris causa doctorate. He died on February 5, 1950.

See alsoCosta Rica; Literature: Spanish America.


Primary Works

Cuentos Ticos: Short Stories of Costa Rica [1901], trans. G. Casement. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries, 1970.

History of the Discovery and Conquest of Costa Rica, trans. Harry Weston Van Dyke, NY: T.Y. Crowell, 1913.

La independencia y otros episodios. San José, Costa Rica: Imprenta Trejos, 1928.

                                 Rodolfo Cerdas Cruz

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Fernández Guardia, Ricardo (1867–1950)

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Fernández Guardia, Ricardo (1867–1950)