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, a 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 familiar with this procedure have confirmed to EL PAÍS.
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 who is 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.
Galdós's letters to Pardo Bazán: from passion to mystery
Agustín González de Amezúa, the academic who protected Galdós's letters to Pardo Bazán
A Madrid bookseller accesses Pérez Galdós's passionate letters to Pardo Bazán
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 was her father's wish, that "they were in the RAE."
"There is no lucrative spirit," say the sources consulted, who explain that the complaint has been filed at this time after the heiress, 91 years old 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 on the institution's website Among all the documentation there are 38 letters that Pardo Bazán sent to Pérez Galdós under the title:
Amorous correspondence from “a famous writer with another famous novelist”.
This collection would later be disseminated in books such as
and biographical essays on the writer.
Emilia Pardo Bazán and Benito Pérez Galdós.
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 claimed not to remember the moment precisely, but believed that this correspondence was stolen from his father's library.
He related 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 relatives who have guarded the part that Clara María González de Amezúa and her sister María del Buen Consejo González de Amezúa,
, inherited 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 Real Academia de Bellas Artes de 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 about the whereabouts of the letters or whether these documents still exist.
Academic of the letter Z, in addition to being a collaborator in media such as
, González de Amezúa also delivered to the RAE before dying his memoirs,
, which will not be able to 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.