Authors: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Spanish novelist

Author Works

Long Fiction:

Arroz y tartana, 1894 (The Three Roses, 1932)

Flor de mayo, 1895 (The Mayflower: A Tale of the Valencian Seashore, 1921)

La barraca, 1898 (The Cabin, 1917)

Entre naranjos, 1900 (The Torrent, 1921)

Sónnica la cortesana, 1901 (Sonnica, 1912)

Cañas y barro, 1902 (Reeds and Mud, 1928)

Los muertos mandan, 1902 (The Dead Command, 1919)

La catedral, 1903 (The Shadow of the Cathedral, 1909)

El intruso, 1904 (The Intruder, 1928)

La bodega, 1905 (The Fruit of the Vine, 1919)

La horda, 1905 (The Mob, 1927)

La maja desnuda, 1906 (Woman Triumphant, 1920)

La voluntad de vivir, 1907

Sangre y arena, 1908 (The Blood of the Arena, 1911; better known as Blood and Sand, 1913)

Luna Benamor, 1909 (includes short stories; English translation, 1919)

Los Argonautas, 1914

Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis, 1916 (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1918)

Mare Nostrum, 1918 (English translation, 1919)

Los enemigos de la mujer, 1919 (The Enemies ofWomen, 1920)

El paraíso de las mujeres, 1922 (The Paradise ofWomen, 1922)

La tierra de todos, 1922 (The Temptress, 1923)

La reina Calafia, 1923 (Queen Calafia, 1924)

El papa del mar, 1925 (The Pope of the Sea: An Historic Medley, 1927)

A los pies de Venus, 1926 (The Borgias: Or, At the Feet of Venus, 1930)

El Caballero de la Virgen, 1929 (The Knight of the Virgin, 1930)

En busca del Gran Kan, 1929 (Unknown Lands: The Story of Columbus, 1929)

El fantasma de las alas de oro, 1930 (The Phantom with Wings of Gold, 1931)

Short Fiction:

Fantasías, leyendas y tradiciones, 1887

El adiós a Schubert, 1888

Cuentos valencianos, 1896

La condenada, 1899

Luna Benamor, 1909 (includes the novel of the same title; English translation, 1919)

The Last Lion, and Other Tales, 1919

El préstamo de la difunta, 1921

Novelas de la costa azul, 1924

The Old Woman of theMovies, and Other Stories, 1925

Novelas de amor y de muerte, 1927


El juez, pb. 1894


Historia de la revolución española, 1808-1874, 1890-1892

París: Impresiones de un emigrado, 1893

En el país del arte, 1896 (In the Land of Art, 1923)

Oriente, 1907

Argentina y sus grandezas, 1910

Historia de la guerra europea de 1914, 1914-1919 (13 volumes)

El militarismo mejicano, 1920 (Mexico in Revolution), 1920

Una nación secuestrada: Alfonso XIII desenmascarado, 1924 (Alfonso XIII Unmasked: The Military Terror in Spain, 1924)

La vuelta al mundo de un novelista, 1924-1925 (3 volumes; A Novelist’s Tour of the World, 1926)

Lo que será la república española: Al país y al ejército, 1925

Estudios literarios, 1933

Discursos literarios, 1966


Obras completas, 1923-1934 (40 volumes)

Obras completas, 1964-1965 (3 volumes)


Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (BLAHS-koh ee-BAHN-yayz) is an example of a writer better known and more greatly admired outside his country than in it. Except in his earliest works, in which he was truly regional in writing about Valencia, his work has been classified by Spaniards as journalistic, based on contemporary fads and interests.{$I[AN]9810000227}{$I[A]Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente}{$I[geo]SPAIN;Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente}{$I[tim]1867;Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente}

He was born on January 29, 1867, in Valencia. Perhaps his Aragonese blood gave him the tenacious and rebellious temperament that characterizes his writing as much as does the dreamy idealism of his Valencian environment, for the pen that reinforced his idealism earned him several imprisonments while he was still in school. He was a political exile in France in 1889 for antiroyalist propaganda, and in Italy in 1898 for upholding Cuba’s right to revolt. On January 28, 1928, he died in Mentone, France, exiled for attacking dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera. Not until Spain became a republic was his body brought home.

Running away from home at the age of sixteen, Blasco Ibáñez entered the literary world as secretary in the fiction factory of Manuel Fernández y González, a Spanish writer of thrilling adventure yarns. Later he resigned, thinking that he might as well sign what he wrote, but his earliest efforts found no publisher. Much later, after he became famous, a number of his earlier pseudohistorical novels appeared in Spain and in translation in U.S. magazines to reveal him as a belated romanticist. His best works are The Cabin and the naturalistic Reeds and Mud, realistic tragedies of Valencian life.

To escape the tag of regionalist, he began a series of controversial novels attacking social evils and set in different Spanish cities. The anticlerical The Shadow of the Cathedral contains wonderful descriptions of Toledo. The Fruit of the Vine, set in Jerez and published in 1905, attacks the evils of drinking. The very popular Blood and Sand attacks Seville’s bullfighting. Its film version, starring Rudolph Valentino, gave Blasco Ibáñez world renown.

His ambition to devote a novel to each Latin American nation was interrupted by World War I, but two novels about the war, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Mare Nostrum, made him a best-selling author in the United States. Seven of his novels have been dramatized, and seven have film versions, including two U.S. versions of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He wrote too quickly perhaps, but he was a good observer; he wrote colorfully and with suspense.

BibliographyAnderson, Christopher L. Primitives, Patriarchy, and the Picaresque in Blasco Ibáñez’s “Cañas y barro.” Potomac, Md.: Scripta Humanistica, 1995. Anderson reevaluates the novel Reeds and Mud, focusing on the portrayal of its female characters, whom he considers within the context of a male-dominated society.Anderson, Christopher L., and Paul C. Smith. Vicente Blasco Ibañez: An Annotated Bibliography, 1975-2002. Newark, Del.: Juan de la Cuesta, 2005. Extensively annotated compilation of writings by and about Blasco Ibáñez that updates Paul Smith’s Vicente Blasco Ibáñez: An Annotated Bibliography (1976), which lists works published between 1882 and 1974.Day, A. Grove, and Edgar C. Knowlton. V. Blasco Ibáñez. New York: Twayne, 1972. Survey of Blasco Ibáñez’s life and canon that includes a discussion of his revolutionary influences, cosmopolitan experiences, interest in social protest and human psychology, glorification of Spain, and intense dislike of Germans.Howells, William Dean. “The Fiction of Blasco Ibáñez.” Harper’s 131 (1915): 956-960. Howells, an American novelist and literary critic, praises Blasco Ibáñez’s literary skill.Medina, Jeremy T. The Valencian Novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Valencia, Spain: Albatros Ediciones, 1984. A study of five novels with themes relating to Valencia: The Three Roses, The Mayflower, The Cabin, The Torrent, and Reeds and Mud. Medina has written two other studies of Blasco Ibáñez’s novels, both published by Albatros Ediciones. These studies are The “Psychological” Novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1990) and From Sermon to Art: The Thesis Novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1998).Oxford, Jeffrey Thomas. Vicente Blasco Ibáñez: Color Symbolism in Selected Novels. New York: Peter Lang, 1997. Analyzes the use of color in some of Blasco Ibáñez’s novels, arguing that although he was a naturalist, he often depicted life in a subjectively artificial way that belied the naturalists’ attempt to objectively portray reality.Swain, James O. Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, General Study: Special Emphasis on Realistic Techniques. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1959. A critical study of Blasco Ibáñez’s work, with one chapter focusing on the realistic images of war in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.Wedel, Alfred R. “Blasco Ibáñez’s Antipathy Toward Germans.” Revista de Istorie si Teorie Literara 35 (July-December, 1987): 3-4, 192-200. Discusses the negative portrait of Germans in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
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