1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Enriquez Gomez, Antonio

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 9
Enriquez Gomez, Antonio

ENRIQUEZ GOMEZ, ANTONIO (c. 1601–c. 1661), Spanish dramatist, poet and novelist of Portuguese-Jewish origin, was known in the early part of his career as Enrique Enriquez de Paz. Born at Segovia, he entered the army, obtained a captaincy, was suspected of heresy, fled to France about 1636, assumed the name of Antonio Enriquez Gomez, and became majordomo to Louis XIII., to whom he dedicated Luis dado de Dios á Anna (Paris, 1645). Some twelve years later he removed to Amsterdam, avowed his conversion to Judaism, and was burned in effigy at Seville on the 14th of April 1660. He is supposed to have returned to France, and to have died there in the following year. Three of his plays, El Gran Cardenal de España, don Gil de Albornoz, and the two parts of Fernan Mendez Pinto were received with great applause at Madrid about 1629; in 1635 he contributed a sonnet to Montalban’s collection of posthumous panegyrics on Lope de Vega, to whose dramatic school Enriquez Gomez belonged. The Academias morales de las Musas, consisting of four plays (including A lo que obliga el honor, which recalls Calderon’s Médico de su honra), was published at Bordeaux in 1642; La Torre de Babilonia, containing the two parts of Fernan Mendez Pinto, appeared at Rouen in 1647; and in the preface to his poem, El Samson Nazareno (Rouen, 1656), Enriquez Gomez gives the titles of sixteen other plays issued, as he alleges, at Seville. There is no foundation for the theory that he wrote the plays ascribed to Fernando de Zárate. His dramatic works, though effective on the stage, are disfigured by extravagant incidents and preciosity of diction. The latter defect is likewise observable in the mingled prose and verse of La Culpa del primer peregrino (Rouen, 1644) and the dialogues entitled Politica Angélica (Rouen, 1647). Enriquez Gomez is best represented by El Siglo Pitagórico y Vida de don Gregorio Guadaña (Rouen, 1644), a striking picaresque novel in prose and verse which is still reprinted.