detail concerning his early life. Infact his biographer, Leopoldo
Alas, tells us that it was only with thegreatest difficulty he
obtained from him the admission that he was bornin the Canary
Islands. He studied there in the State College, and cameto
Madrid in 1863, for the purpose of reading law. This profession
heldbut little interest for him, and he did not follow it further.
He wasalready dreaming of a literary career, and after a brief
trial ofjournalism, his first novel, La Fontana de Oro (1871),
In 1872 his next book, El Audaz, was completed. Then taking
as a modelthe historical novels of Erckmann-Chatrian, he began
his EpisodiosNacionales, which alone fill twenty volumes. Add
to this number somethirty volumes of Novelas Contemporáneas,
and one sees the monumentthat Galdós offers us of the
wonderful persistence and fertility of histalent.
It is upon the Novelas that his wider literary reputation rests,
forin the narration of contemporary Spanish life, in the
reflection of theideas and the sentiments of the people, he has no
Comparatively little has been written by him for the theatre,
but he hasalways been a welcome contributor and when,
during the year 1900, theDirector of the Teatro Español asked
him for a piece for the nextseason he seized the opportunity of
advancing, in Electra, his liberalideas.
This drama was represented at Madrid, January 30, 1901, and
made a deepimpression on the Spanish people. "At the end of
the first act," saysthe Imparcial, "the applause was frantic."