Eça de Queirós (1845-1900)
EÇA DE QUEIRÓS (1845-1900)
The writer Eça de Queirós was a friend of the count of Ficalho, a member alongside him and other Portuguese writers and historians such as Oliveira Martins and Ramalho Ortigão of the group of intellectuals called Vencidos da Vida (in English, “defeated of life”). In 1898, on a trip to Alentejo, Eça de Queirós visited the Palácio Ficalho, a visit he describes in a letter to his wife Emília de Castro as follows:
“It was very nice. To go to [the farm] Corte Condessa it was in my plan to sleep in Serpa — and the good Ficalho [count of Ficalho], with a trait that, in such a great egoist, impressed me and has impressed all our friends, abandoned the delights of the centenary, and came with me to Serpa, to do me the honours of his house. (…) Lovely day. Serpa, beautifully picturesque town. Solar Ficalho with great air, weapons room, high terrace dominating the entire region, walls, etc. Everything a little abandoned — but comfortable, and even with art furniture!”.
The two friends could not have guessed that their families would be united through the marriage of António Martim de Mello (grandson of the count of Ficalho) to Maria das Dores Eça de Queirós (granddaughter of Eça de Queirós). This family connection explains the important presence in the house of works by/about Eça de Queirós and of several photographs remembering him.