More than Muses

María Martínez Abello

María Martínez Abello (Late 18th Century)

Also known as Madama Abello.

An image from a work by María Martínez Abello

Miscellaneous Works by María Martínez Abello


María Martínez Abello was a Spanish dramatist, poet, and salon host during the Spanish Enlightenment (Lewis 147-51).

María Martínez Abello, a poet and playwright of the Spanish Enlightenment, hosted a literary salon (tertulia) in her home. We know very little about the life of Martínez Abello, for example her birth and death dates are currently unknown. She published several works in Barcelona during the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century (Brodiga Grinstein 207).

Between 1797 and 1800, she published several poems in the Diario de Barcelona, making her the only female poet whose name appeared in that newspaper during the last five years of the eighteenth century (Establier Perez “Un Poeta” 579). In 1799, she published a poem in response to a poem that María Gertrudis Hore had published anonymously a month prior. Martínez Abel's poem,pleaded with the anonymous author to reveal her identity (Lewis 62). In 1800, Martínez Abello published a comedy titled Entre los riesgos de amor, sostenerse con honor: La Laureta, which was adapted from a French story written by Jean-François Marmontel (Establier Pérez “María Martínez'' 126-37). La Laureta deals with themes of social class, honor, love, and marriage and comments on the vulnerability of lower-class women to manipulation and mistreatment by men and members of upper-class society in general. Martínez Abello also published a tragedy titled La Estuarda, which centers on the death of Mary Queen of Scots, but the exact date of publication is unknown.

Annotated Bibliography

Brodiga Grinstein, Julia. "Panorama de la dramaturgia femenina española en la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII y principios del siglo XIX." Dieciocho, vol. 25, no. 2, p. 195-216.

This article provides a brief overview of several Spanish women playwrights in the second half of the 18th and early 19th centuries, including María Martínez Abello. It states that she was a writer who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century and wrote a tragedy, La Estuarda, and a comedy, Entre los riesgos de amor, sostenerse con honor: La Laureta. The article analyzes her authorship of La Estuarda, her tragic play centered around the death of Mary Queen of Scots, and it comments on the potential inspiration for the play and whether it was a translation of another work. It concludes that Martinez Abello may have taken inspiration from other works, but she created a unique interpretation with her play.   (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Establier Pérez, Helena. "La materia inglesa en la tragedia neoclásica española de fines del XVIII: La Estuarda y el 'femenil' ingenio de María Martínez Abello." Bulletin of Spanish Studies: Hispanic Studies and Researches on Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, vol. 94, no. 5, p. 771-93.

This article examines María Martínez Abello’s tragedy, La Estuarda, and identifies her as the first person to address the death of Mary Queen of Scots in a theatrical format in Spain. Establier Pérez highlights the complications women writers face in eighteenth-century Spain to gain recognition and  comments on the responses and scrutiny Martínez Abello received for her play. The article examines the potential source texts of the play, and comments on the unique ways that Martínez Abello contextualizes this event with a unique approach to the death of the Queen of Scots that is representative of her gender and Catholic tradition of the eighteenth century.  (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Establier Pérez, Helena. "María Martínez Abello y la 'comedia nueva' de entresiglos en clave femenina: Entre los riesgos de amor, sostenerse con honor. La Laureta (1800)." Dieciocho: Hispanic Enlightenment, vol. 38, no. 1, p. 125-152.

This article analyzes María Martínez Abello’s comedy, Entre los riesgos de amor, sostenerse con honor: La Laureta to determine whether it is a translation of a previous work or a personal adaption of the French short story “Laurette” by Jean-François Marmontel. Establier Pérez highlights the unique differences between Martínez Abello’s play and the short story to highlight the unique elements that she emphasizes in her play compared to the original short story. Establier Pérez concludes that La Laureta is an adaptation of the short story that emphasizes morality and honor in ways distinct from the original.  (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Establier Pérez, Helena. "Una poeta ilustrada en el tránsito entre dos siglos: Los versos desconocidos de María Martínez Abello en el Diario de Barcelona (1797-1800)." Boletín de La Real Academia Española, vol. 99, no. 320, p. 579-616.

This article examines the poems that María Martínez Abello published in El Diario de Barcelona, a Spanish newspaper, in the last years of the eighteenth century. Establier Pérez identifies Martínez Abello as the only female poet to write for El Diario de Barcelona and one of the only named women poets to appear in the national press in the last five years of the eighteenth century. The article examines Martínez Abello’s poems to offer commentary on trends in poetry across the eighteenth to nineteenth century with a feminine perspective.  (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Lewis, Elizabeth Franklin. "Situating Feminine Happiness: María Gertrudis Hore's Ascent to the Sacred Parnassus." Women Writers in the Spanish Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, Burlington, VT, Ashgate Publishing Company, p. 62.

This book highlights Spanish women writers of the Enlightenment and emphasizes their contributions to feminist thought of the time and focuses on writers who authored works that addressed the theme of pursuing happiness. This specific chapter centers on the works of Maria Gertudis Hore, and it also identifies Maria Martinez Abello as one of her contemporaries. Martinez Abello is mentioned as the first public reader of Maria Gertrudis Hore, and a poem she published in El Diario de Barcelona in response to Hore’s works is referenced as well. (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Lewis, Elizabeth Franklin. "Drama by Spanish Women Writers 1770-1850." The Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature, vol. 1, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, p. 187-190.

This chapter of the encyclopedia examines plays written by Spanish women dramatists in the Enlightenment and Romantic period (between 1770-1850). It explains how the number of female playwrights increased and more women were able to gain recognition in this period as well. It also describes how several works by female playwrights of the time period examined concepts that women writers were previously unable to explore, such as portraying women in ways that challenge socially acceptable behavior. (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)

Serrano y Sanz, Manuel. "MARTÍNEZ ABELLO (D.a María)." Apuntes Para Una Biblioteca de Escritoras Españolas, vol. 2, p. 40.

This encyclopedia contains a small section about Maria Martinez Abello. It identifies her as a poet from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and references her play La Estuarda, a tragedy, and La Laureta, a comedy.  (Annotation by Rachel Lyons)


31 March 2023

Last Updated

5 April 2023