Juan Pérez de Montalbán
He was born at Madrid. At the age of eighteen, he became a licentiate in theology. He was ordained priest in 1625, and appointed notary to the Inquisition. In 1619 he began writing for the stage under the guidance of Lope de Vega, who is said to have assisted him in composing El Orfeo en lengua castellana (1624), a poem obviously intended to compete with Jáuregui's Orfeo, published earlier in the same year.
Montalbán's father, a publisher at Madrid, issued a pirated edition of Quevedo's Buscón, which roused an angry controversy. The violence of these polemics, the strain of overwork, and the death of Lope de Vega so affected Montalbán that he became insane; he died at Madrid on 25 June 1638. His last work was a eulogistic biography of Lope de Vega in the Fama póstuma (1636).
His plays, published in 1635–1638, are all in the manner of Lope de Vega. They were staged with much success, but, with the exception of Los Amantes de Teruel, achieved no permanent standing. Montalbán almost rivaled Lope de Vega in dramatic productiveness, but, according to one critic, he followed that writer's conventional manner, flimsiness in construction, and carelessness in execution too closely. Another critic called the plays other than Amantes little more than clever improvizations.
The prose tales in Sucesos y prodigios de amor, en ocho novelets ejemplares (1624) and Para todos: Exemplos morales, humanos y divinos (1632) were very popular. George Ticknor characterized “The Disastrous Friendship,” a tale in the former collection, as one of the best in the Spanish language. “Aurora and the Prince,” was translated into English by Thomas Stanley (1647).
A libellous attack on Quevedo, entitled El Tribunal de la justa venganza (1635), is often ascribed to Montalbán. Montalbán's reputation was such that sometimes his name appeared on works by other writers.
- London: printed for Humphrey Moseley, at the signe of the Princes Armes in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1647
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Montalban, Juan Perez de". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Baynes, T.S.; Smith, W.R., eds. (1883). "Montalvan, Juan Perez de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. This work in turn cites:
- George Ticknor, History of Spanish Literature, 1863, v. 2.