Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/José Iglesias de la Casa
A Spanish of the coterie gathered about Meléndez, Valdés, born at Salamanca, 31 October, 1748; died prematurely at his native place in 1791. He pursued his studies at the famous University of Salamanca, and in 1783 took Holy orders at Madrid. During his lifetime he published two rather mediocre poems, "La niñez Laureada" (dealing with an infant prodigy, who at the age of hardly four years underwent a university examination), and "La Teclogia". Before producing these he had composed his really important poems, which are chiefly satirical and epigrammatical in their nature. In fact, as a satirist he is to be ranked only lower than the great Quevedo. Certain portions of his satirical lyrics proved offense to the authorities, and the 1798 edition of them was put on the Index by the Inquisition. The necessity of this action was denied by some of his warm friends. Among the better-known editions of his works are those of Barcelona (1820 and 1837), of Paris (1821), and of Madrid (1841). They are most readily accessible in the "Biblioteca de autores Españoles", vol. LXI, which contains about 38 letrillas — in the composition of which he excelled — besides a numbers of satires, epigrams, odes, anacreontics, ecologues, etc. Not long since, some of his unedited poems were published by R. Foulche-Delbosc, in the "Revue Hispanique", vol. II.