Carmen De Burgos

* 1876 (Nijar) 1932 (Madrid) Spain
Fields of activity: journalist, writer and editorial
Author: Emma Pascual Gómez

First female Spanish professional editor -included in the Madrid “Diario Universal” since 1903- and first feminine war correspondent (“El Heraldo de Madrid”, Melilla, 1906). She is a representative celebrity of bohemian and progressive circles of Madrid in the first third of the twentieth century. Also considered a pioneer feminist, defender of Divorce Law, and the Feminine Suffrage, She wrote over two hundred literary works -novels, essays, translations…-

Also she was known as Colombine, Raquel, Honorine, Perico el de los Palote, or Marianel.

“I am free and independent……It never occurred to me to promote on behalf my freedom or forswear my conditions”

Since her stimulating progressive figure reached an unquestionable popularity, and  international recognition, after the Spanish civil war in 1939, with the conservatives victory,  her memory was banned:  Firstly, she was included in the list of prohibited authors headed by Zola, Voltaire, Rousseau, Gorki, or Sinclair Lewis, where she, by the way,  –the first women-, occupied the ninth position. Secondly, the memory of her figure and contribution was officially restricted to having been the eccentric lover of Ramón Gomez de la Serna.



The daughter of the Portuguese Viceconsul. She was born in Nijar, Almeria. At sixteen, against her father will, she marries Arturo Alvarez, the son of Almeria’s Governor, owner of the main printing press in town. It is such that Carmen becomes familiar with editorial world and starts collaborating in “Almeria Bufa”.

An unfortunate marriage and the death of two of her three children, determine that Carmen, in the middle of a provincial scandal, flights to Madrid with her sister Katy, and daughter Maria. Previously, she had been studying to become a teacher and obtained the degrees of “Maestra de Enseñanza Elemental” (1995) and “Superior” (1998). In 1901, through a public exam, she reaches a teaching position in the Escuela Normal de Maestras in Guadalajara (Spain).

1901-1909 She moves to Guadalajara, and briefly to Toledo, always aiming to return to Madrid, where she has initiated diverse activities within literary, press, and other intellectual, and political progressive circles. In 1905, she obtains a scholarship for extended studies abroad. In 1907, she takes charge of the Domestic Economy Chair in the Superior School of Industrial Artin Madrid, and two years later, the appointment of “Auxiliar de la sección de Letras in Madrid Teachers School (“Escuela Normal”), allows her to definitely move to Madrid.

Always fighting for women social recognition and rights, she collaborates with progressive political parties –PSOE, Unión Republicana, Radical Socialista.

In 1908 she funds “La Alianza Hispano-Israelita”  She relates to contemporary literary figures like Azorin, Unamuno, Pardo Bazán, Giner de los Rios, or Blasco Ibañez, and falls in love with Ramón Gómez de la Serna, a 21 years younger writer, with whom she shares literary and cultural interests, and numerous and exotic travels, later reflected in her writings.

In 1910-1932, she consolidates herself as a celebrity in Madrid cultural circles. Besides being a highly productive author -eleven novels, over a hundred short stories, essays, countless articles-, she has the ability to convert her dull “Lectures” daily press column into an array of current subjects, including the organization of two controverted plebisciteson divorce and feminine suffrage….  A :member of “La Liga Internacional de mujeres”, and President of “La Cruzada de Mujeres Españolas, she leads, in1921, the first women demonstration to handle in the Congress a manifest for women political rights.

She died in 1932 soon after her intervention in a meeting in the Radical Socialist Circle.


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