Javier de Burgos

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Francisco Javier de Burgos y del Olmo (October 22, 1778, Motril—January 22, 1849, Madrid) was a Spanish jurist, politician, journalist, and translator.

Early life and career

Born into a noble but poor family, he was destined for a career in the Roman Catholic Church, but soon abandoned his studies in Granada and left for Madrid - where he took law courses. When the French invaded under Napoleon I, at the start of the Peninsular War (1808-1814), Burgos, as one of the afrancesados (supporters of King Joseph I), took up administrative duties in Andalusia. His willingness to collaborate had made him an enemy of the House of Bourbon, and made him leave for Paris in 1812.

In France, Burgos completed his academic training by studying the works of the Classics, and started translating the works of Horace into Castilian (a version notably analysed by Andrés Bello, who deemed Burgos "a poor translator, but an excellent commentator"). Much later (1844), Burgos published a revised version, which, although still flawed, has remained a reference - for instance, it is appreciated for its use of the sapphic stanza with free verse.


He returned to Madrid in 1819, and was appointed editor of El Imparcial in 1822 (the paper was a rallying point for moderate liberalism and the afrancesados). During the same period, Burgos showed himself to be a prolific author, writing a publishing a multiple volume work entitled Biografía universal. He was also integrated in...
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