Allegations that he was initiated in Freemasonry in ,  are somewhat contradictory as there are indications that, around the same time, during the Revolution of Maria da Fonte , he fought in favor of the Miguelists as "helper to the orders of the Scottish General Reinaldo MacDonell ",   who was active in the revived Order of Saint Michael of the Wing precisely to combat Masonry. Similarly, much of his literature demonstrates his ideals of legitimism and as a conservative and Catholic traditionalist.
Camilo was born out of wedlock and orphaned in infancy, although his origins lay ultimately in Northern Portugal's provincial aristocracy his father, Manuel Joaquim Botelho Castelo Branco, was the son of an illustrious household in the environs of Vila Real , but lived in near-poverty due to the strict law of primogeniture which then largely excluded younger sons from inheritance. At the age of 13, he enrolled at the Catholic seminary of nearby Vila Real, where he was educated by Catholic priests.
In spite of this interest in literature, and of his remarkable abilities in Greek and Latin , Camilo was a distracted student and grew up to be undisciplined and proud.
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From the age of 17 to his early 20s, he intermittently studied medicine and theology in Oporto and Coimbra and eventually chose to become a writer. 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.
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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. 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.
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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. Your digital signature is as legally binding as a physical signature. If you use a digital signature, your signature must exactly match the First and Last names that you specified earlier in this form.
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