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Böhl von Faber, Cecilia (1796–1877)

Böhl von Faber, Cecilia (1796–1877)

Spanish novelist. Name variations: Cecilia Böhl de Faber or Bohl de Faber, Madame de Arrom; Bohl; (pseudonym) Fernán Caballero. Born Cecilia Francisca Josefa Böhl von Faber in Morgues, Switzerland, on December 25, 1796 (some sources cite 1797); died in Seville, Spain, on April 7, 1877; educated in Germany.

Selected writings:

Mouette (Sp: La Gaviota; Eng: The Sea-Gull).

Considered the creator of the modern novel in Spanish literature, Cecilia Böhl von Faber was 52 years old when her first novel Mouette (The Sea-Gull) was published. The book, written in French under the name Fernán Caballero, brought its author immediate fame. Linking romanticism and the regional movements, she was considered Spain's most renowned novelist of the 19th century until the Revolution of 1868 and the advent of realism. A strict Roman Catholic with a conservative streak that informed her work, Böhl von Faber also wrote A Summer Season at Bornos, Elia, Sola (written in German and published anonymously in 1840), Lágrimas (Tears, 1850), Clemencia (1852), Poor Dolores, Lucas Garcia, Un servilón y un liberalito (A Groveller and a Little Liberal, 1855), La Familia Albareda (The Family of Alvareda, 1880). Her first collection of Spanish poems and popular stories were published as Cuentos y Poesías Populares Andaluces (Andalusian Popular Tales and Poems, 1859–77). A number of her short stories are collected under the titles Cuadros de Costumbres (Tales of Customs, 1862) and Relaciones (1857).

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