De la moralidad en el teatro

Biblioteca Cervantes Virtual

Artículo en el que Juan Valera expone sus ideas acerca del género teatral, que, en su opinión, no debía constituirse en una escuela de costumbres.
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About the author

Juan Valera (Cabra, 1824-Madrid, 1905). Diplomático, político y escritor español. Cultivó todos los géneros literario: epistolar, periodístico, crítica literaria, poesía, teatro, cuento y novela. Más información en

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The marquis of Villafria, having squandered his fortune on a dissolute life in Madrid, has had to retire to rural Andalusia, to the town of Villafria, with his young daughter Dona Luz. There he comes under the sway of Don Acisclo, his one-time steward, who, by dint of shrewdness and hard and diligent work, has ended up with the marquis's property, estates, and influence.
After the marquis's death, Don Acisclo, his own family grown and living elsewhere, insists that Dona Luz come to live with him. At first she resists, but ultimately yields, because, impoverished as she is and with the cloud of illegitimacy hanging over her, she can live a quiet, retiring life without the attendant gossip that would follow her were she alone in her own home. She soon develops a small, close circle of friends - in addition to Don Acisclo himself, the doctor Don Anselmo. Don Anselmo's daughter Dona Manolita and her husband Pepe Gueto, and Don Miguel the parish priest. Pious and cultured, very beautiful and very reserved, she is respected by the townspeople and courted by young men for miles around, all of whom she turns down. Content with her tertuha, or gathering of close friends, her devotions, her books, and her daily routine, Dona Luz is unmoved by the prospect of marriage, because of her illegitimacy and her extremely modest financial status.
But then two men enter her life: Father Enrique, the ailing missionary nephew of Don Acisclo who returns from the Philippines to rest, and Don Jaime Pimentel, the dashing young military man whom Don Acisclo has chosen to back as the district representative in an uncoming election. How Dona Luz responds to both men determines the direction her life will take and the manner in which her illegitimacy will be explained.
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