The enigma surrounding the whereabouts of the letters that Benito Pérez Galdós sent to Emilia Pardo Bazán has a new chapter. The heirs of Agustín González de Amezúa y Mayo, member of the Royal Academy of Language (RAE) from 1929 until his death in 1956, who guarded the correspondence between the two Spanish writers of the 19th century, have reported to the Police the disappearance of these letters, as sources have confirmed to EL PAÍS knowledgeable about this procedure. After the death of the academic, owner of one of the most important libraries in Spain (with a large number of documents from Lope de Vega, Menéndez Pelayo and the Inquisition), his patrimony was divided among his three children. Clara María González de Amezúa, the only daughter still alive, assured this newspaper that she had seen the letters after the clue about this exchange of letters reappeared at the end of 2020, when a bookseller in Madrid claimed to have seen them in a house in the city. capital for “about 30 years.” Until now it was believed that they had been destroyed by the wife of the dictator Francisco Franco, Carmen Polo, or in the fire of the Meirás pazo in 1978. There are no data on their whereabouts between 56, the year of Amezúa’s death, and 78, when they could be eliminated.
One of the Easter days, in Madrid, Amezúa’s family decided to file a complaint, according to those same sources. The interest of the heirs is to comply with what Clara María González de Amezúa considers to be her father’s wish, that “they be in the RAE.” “There is no profit motive,” say the sources consulted, explaining that the complaint has been filed at this time after the 91-year-old heiress and National Gastronomy Prize winner in 2015, meditated and discussed it with her relatives during these months , since the news broke at the end of 2020.
The objective of the heirs is that, if the letters appear, they are kept with those of Galdós that were part of the historical and literary material that the academic donated to the RAE in 1953. According to the information that appears in the institution’s websiteAmong all the documentation there are 38 letters that Pardo Bazán sent to Pérez Galdós under the title: Amorous correspondence of “a famous writer with another famous novelist.” This collection would later be disseminated in books such as My dear and biographical essays on the writer.
Clara María González de Amezúa told EL PAÍS by phone in December 2020 that she saw the letters. At the time, he was not aware of the importance of these documents. In the conversation, he said he did not remember the moment precisely, but believed that this correspondence was stolen from his father’s library. He reported that it must have been an oversight: “Maybe he left them on a table and someone came in and took them away.”
After González de Amezúa’s death, the estate was divided into three parts, each one going to one of the three children who were still living. Two of the next of kin who have guarded the part that Clara María González de Amezúa and her sister María del Buen Consejo González de Amezúa, Maruja, they inherited, they assured this newspaper that none of them received the letters from Benito Pérez Galdós. The third part of the inheritance went to the heirs of Ramón González de Amezúa, who was director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in 1991, who died in 2015.
The complaint opens an investigation process that, according to EL PAÍS has learned, can last years, since there are no concrete clues as to the whereabouts of the letters or whether these documents still exist.
Academic of the letter Z, as well as a collaborator in media such as ABC Y The vanguard, González de Amezúa also delivered his memoirs to the RAE before he died, Sentimental epistolary, which cannot be read until 2026, when the 70th anniversary of his death is completed, as established in his will. A document that will give more clues about the correspondence between Pérez Galdós and Bazán.