/content/dam/fundacion-banco-santander/es/imagenes/cultura/literatura/Las cosas de la vida portada.jpg != null ? bannerSimple.alt : true}

Jose Maria Pereda

Las cosas de la vida. Cartas de José María de Pereda a Manuel Marañón

Epistolares y diarios


Colección Obra Fundamental

Edited in 2024

23 x 16 cm

pages 420

Binding: hard cover

Language: spanish

ISBN: 978-84-17264-43-7

Here to buy the book

Here to boy the epub

José María Pereda, (Polanco, 1833 - Santander, 1906) is one of the great Spanish novelists of the second half of the 19th century. Not only was Manuel Marañón his "dearest" friend, but also "my alter ego, my other self", as stated in a letter dated February 5, 1895.  Their lives were interwoven by this intense and unique collection of letters that was thought to be lost. Pereda wrote over 260 letters to Marañón, which have remained unpublished until now, preserved by the recipient's family in the archives of the Cigarral de Menores Foundation in  Toledo. The collection of letters covers a period of twenty years (1877-1897), representing the entire novelistic trajectory of the Cantabrian writer, from his first novel to his admission in the Royal Spanish Academy. Numerous personal and literary issues appear in the letters, although, above all, it is exciting to be able to understand the writer's profession at that time and to observe, in unique detail, the literary process from beginning to end: from the first idea or narrative argument to the last technical details and material details of the edition, including the dissemination of this work among the public and the literary critics of the time.

These letters are essential to reveal previously unknown aspects of the life and personality of José María Pereda, as a writer and as a man, as well as constituting a document of great value on the literary and human contexts of that period and the cultural dialogues between the center and the periphery of the Spanish geography.

Jaime Olmedo (Talavera de la Reina, 1971) holds a degree in Hispanic Philology with an Extraordinary Prize from the Complutense University and a PhD in Philosophy and Spanish from the University of Bologna. He has developed his professional career at the Cervantes Institute, the RAE and the RAH, where he has been technical director of the Biographical Dictionary and the "Historia Hispánica" portal. He is also a professor of Spanish Literature at the Faculty of Philology of the Complutense University and a corresponding member of the Academies of History, Fine Arts and Historical Sciences of Toledo and of Sciences, Fine Arts and Noble Arts of Cordoba.

Interview with Jaime Olmedo, Technical Director of the RAH, philologist and responsible for the volume.

“Pereda is one of the great storytellers of the 19th century and we must put him on a par with Clarín, Galdós or Valera”.


We offer you a podcast with a selection of the life events that José María Pereda recounts to his friend and supporter, Manuel Marañón, father of Gregorio, the distinguished physician and historian. Manuel became known as the consul of Polanco because eventually, as a lawyer, he was an official representative of the interests of many Cantabrian friends in Madrid, becoming the most loyal and efficient servant of Pereda, whom he helped both in his literary career and in his attainment of the seat at the Academia de la Lengua. In these podcasts you will be able to listen to the most varied topics that furrow the friendship of these two men: Pereda's day-to-day literary creation; the constant concerns for the health of their families in the wake of the numerous epidemics of the time; the disenchantment with the lack of admiration for José María's work and his insecurity in writing; their resentment with the critics and their ambitions in Madrid; and, above all, the mutual support for the deaths that flood this correspondence, from Marañón's wife to José María's eldest son, who later committed suicide. 

1878: ” Finally, you spoke up and shook me out of the nervous restlessness in which the unchanging silence of friends and newspapers subjected me…”
1879-81: "My very dear friend, it had to happen and it happened. I found a big house, for we couldn't fit in the one you know, and I moved in...."
1882-84: "My very dear friend, do you see how everything bad sticks?...."
1885: "Dearest friend, for two reasons, I am replying by post to your letter of the 1st; the main one, because the very sad concern that is revealed in this letter, as also in the previous one, demands a prompt and reasonable reflection on my behalf..."
1886: “Dearest friend, if they don't get eaten on the way, a small box containing 27 duchess pears should arrive in Madrid by this same post...".
1888 : "Dearest friend, now that the causes that prevented Juan Manuel's trip eight days ago have disappeared, he will undertake it..."
1890: "Dearest friend, Diodora received a letter from Carmen last night, and we have learned of the new worries that you are facing in this labyrinth of complications..."
1891-94: "My very dear friend, this time I declare it to you unequivocally, because of your obstinate silence without rational justification at certain times, I have had serious fears..."
1894: "My dearest friend, I have just received the letter you announced yesterday. Tomorrow, the eve of All Saints' Day, I plan to spend it in Polanco, where, as you can presume, I will have no lack of things to do...."
1896: "Dearest friend, by your brief letter dated the 21st, I was aware of the death of your uncle Don Felipe..."