1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montalbán, Juan Perez de

MONTALBÁN, JUAN PEREZ DE (1602–1638), Spanish dramatist, poet and novelist, was born at Madrid in 1602. At the age of eighteen he became a licentiate in theology, was ordained priest in 1625 and appointed notary to the Inquisition. In 1619 he began writing for the stage under the guidance of Lope de Vega, who is said to have assisted him in composing El Orfeo en lengua castellana (1624), a poem obviously intended to compete with Jáuregui's Orfeo, published earlier in the same year. The prose tales in Sucesos y prodigios de amor (1624) and Para todos (1632) were very popular. Montalbán's father, a publisher at Madrid, issued a pirated edition of Quevedo's Buscón, which roused an angry controversy. The violence of these polemics, the strain of overwork, and the death of Lope de Vega so affected Montalbán that he became insane; he died at Madrid on the 25th of June 1638. His last work was a eulogistic biography of Lope de Vega in the Fama póstuma (1636). His plays, published in 1635–1638, are all in the manner of that great dramatist, and were represented with much success, but, with the exception of Los Amantes de Teruel, are little more than clever improvisations. A libellous attack on Quevedo, entitled El Tribunal de la justa venganza (1635), is often ascribed to him.