Elena Fortún and Her World
A writer in “the age of reason”
From 01 March to 01 October 2017
Location: Biblioteca Histórica
The Municipal History Library of Madrid pays tribute to Elena Fortún, a fascinating writer, looking beyond the creation of her legendary character, Celia.
- Guided visits
Tuesday and Wednesday at 12 noon and Thursday at 3pm, by request at [email protected]
As part of the Ellas Crean festival, the Municipal History Library of Madrid wants to pay tribute to writer Encarnación Aragoneses de Urquijo, better known as Elena Fortún. Born in Madrid in 1886, she lived in a number of places across Spain, wherever her husband, Eusebio de Gorbea Lemmi, a professional soldier, creative writer and theatre lover, happened to be based. The war sent them into exile in Argentina, from where she returned in 1948. She was first and foremost a writer of books for children and teenagers, becoming widely known for the character of Celia.
Her intellectual concerns and the importance she gave to education led her to join the Lyceum Club, chaired by María de Maeztu. There she made contact with leading women of the day, including writer María de la O Lejárraga, who played a decisive role in Elena Fortún’s literary activity, as well as in the appearance of the character of Celia; graphologist Matilde Ras, who she regarded as “almost a legendary being”, and Magda Donato, both of whom were authors of children’s literature; Victoria Kent; Zenobia Camprubí, etc.
She died in 1952 leaving her last novel, Celia in the Revolution, unpublished. The book was first brought out in 1987 and reprinted 30 years later. Apparently, part of her work remains unpublished and largely unknown to this day.
(Text by Teresa Bravo Peláez and Guadalupe Uceta Pérez)
Click here to access the virtual tour of the exhibition.