- Montemayor, Jorge de
- (1520-1561)Portuguese-born poet, prose author, and singer in the imperial chapel at Madrid. He spent most of his career in the service of Philip II of Spain. His poems on religious themes are important contributions to devotional liter-ature. He also wrote a prose dialogue in which fundamental ques-tions of Catholic doctrine are freely discussed. His first volume of verse, both religious and secular, was published at Antwerp in 1554, and an expanded edition came out in 1558. Though Mon-temayor's kind of open and questioning religious works was not uncommon in the preceding generation, the more rigidly disci-plined world of post-Reformation Spain found them unaccept-able, and in 1559 all of his religious writings were placed on the Spanish Index of Forbidden Books. But that same year he pub-lished a prose pastoral romance, Diana, which became a literary sensation. It had many reprints and influenced Spanish authors (such as Cervantes) who sought to imitate it. It also influenced foreign authors such as Sir Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and the French pastoral novelist Honore d'Urfé. The end of Mon-temayor's life is as obscure as its origins; he seems to have died in Piedmont in 1561; an undocumented legend attributed his death to a duel over a rivalry in love.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.