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After a spell of journalistic work in Oporto and Lisbon he proceeded to the episcopal seminary in Oporto in order to study for the priesthood. Camilo actually took minor holy orders, but his restless nature drew him away from the priesthood and he devoted himself to literature for the rest of his life. Camilo was made a viscount Visconde de Correia Botelho in in recognition of his contributions to literature, and when his health deteriorated and he could no longer write, parliament gave him a pension for life.
Camilo Castelo Branco is probably the most prolific of all Portuguese writers, his work including novels, plays, verse, and essays.
In addition, Camilo was the first Portuguese writer able to support himself financially from his writing alone. In all, his publications number about five hundred and sixty, but he is best known for his romances. Even though Camilo churned out a lot of work to pay the bills, he never lost his individuality. His familiarity with personalities allowed him to enliven his writing with a succession of memorable characters and Portuguese types, such as the "brasileiro" a returned Portuguese emigrant who had made his fortune in Brazil , the old "Fidalgo" nobleman of the north of Portugal, and the Minho priest.
Camilo's novels may be divided into three periods.
Novelas Do Minho by Camilo Castelo Branco
In these novels he combines realism and idealism, and perfectly captures the domestic and social life of Portugal in the early part of the 19th century. The third period embraces his writings in the realms of history, biography and literary criticism. Castelo Branco is an admirable story-teller, largely because he was a brilliant improvisatore , but he does not attempt character study.
He has a richness of vocabulary probably unmatched in all Portuguese literature, often using obscure words. At the same time, few Portuguese authors have demonstrated so profound a knowledge of the vernacular tongue. Though nature had endowed Camilo with a poetic temperament, his verses are considered to be mediocre, while his best plays are cast in bold lines and contain powerfully dramatic situations, and his comedies are a triumph of the grotesque, with a mordant tone reminiscent of the work of Gil Vicente.
Cambridge University Press. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo-Branco.
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