Teresa Josefa de Mello Breyner (1732-1794)
TERESA JOSEFA DE MELLO BREYNER (1732-1794)
The writer Teresa Josefa de Mello Breyner (1732-1794, countess of Vimieiro, by marriage), daughter of the first countess of Ficalho, belongs to the exceptional cultural period of the eighteenth century. She was a woman of the Enlightenment. Her friend marquise of Alorna gave her the literary pseudonym of Tirce in the context of Nova Arcádia, a Portuguese literary society inspired by the Italian Accademia dell´Arcadia. We only know of one of her works: the tragedy Osmía, awarded by the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1788 – and
submitted anonymously to the competition.
Osmía is the drama of a woman who challenges the restrictions imposed on her gender. The countess of Vimeiro, according to researcher Raquel Bello Vázquez, was a transgressor, a woman who positioned herself in “the public space that collided with the prevailing prejudice of the three feminine virtues seen as the norm: silence, obedience and chastity.”