1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hartzenbusch, Juan Eugenio

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HARTZENBUSCH, JUAN EUGENIO (1806-1880), Spanish dramatist, was born at Madrid on the 6th of September 1806. The son of a German carpenter, he was educated for the priesthood, but he had no religious vocation and, on leaving school, followed his father's trade till 1830, when he learned shorthand and joined the staff of the Gaceta. His earliest dramatic essays were translations from Molière, Voltaire and the elder Dumas; he next recast old Spanish plays, and in 1837 produced his first original play, Los Amantes de Teruel, the subject of which had been used by Rey de Artieda, Tirso de Molina and Perez de Montalbán. Los Amantes de Teruel at once made the author's reputation, which was scarcely maintained by Doña Mencia (1839) and Alfonso el Casto (1841); it was not till 1845 that he approached his former success with La Jura en Santa Gadea. Hartzenbusch was chief of the National Library from 1862 to 1875, and was an indefatigable — though not very judicious — editor of many national classics. Inferior in inspiration to other contemporary Spanish dramatists, Hartzenbusch excels his rivals in versatility and in conscientious workmanship.