Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HEREDIA, Jose Maria de (ay-ray'-dee-ah), Cuban author, born in Santiago de Cuba, 31 December, 1803; died in Mexico in May, 1839. His early years were spent in travelling with his parents in Cuba, Florida, Santo Domingo, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1817 he went to Havana, where his studies were completed. He was admitted to the bar in 1823, and in the same year, on account of his political and liberal ideas, he was banished to the United States. There he published a volume of poems (New York, 1825; new ed., enlarged, 2 vols., 1832), which made his name at once famous as a lyrical poet in every Spanish-speaking country. In the same year he was called by President Victoria to Mexico, and practised law there till the end of his life. filling several high offices. His tragedy "Sila ;' was performed in 1826, "Tiberio" in 1827, and "Los ultimos romanos" in 1829. The poems of Heredia have passed through numerous editions in Spain as well as in the Spanish-American countries, and have been translated, totally or partially, into English, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. The best Spanish critics, like Lista, Quintana, Bello, Canete, Canovas del Castillo, and Menendez Pelayo, have paid high tributes to his lyrical talent" while French and English writers, like Villemain, Ampere, De Mazade, Kennedy, and Longfellow, have also bestowed their praises on the Cuban poet. There has been recently a movement in Cuba for the erection of a monument to his memory. Heredia also published "Lecciones de Historia Universal" (4 vols., 1830-'1), and translations in verse of Alfieri's "Saul," Chenier's " Cayo Graco," Ducis's "Abufar," Voltaire's " Mahomet," and Crebillon's "Atreo y Thiestes."
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