Coelho Neto

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Coelho Neto
Coelho Neto.jpg
BornHenrique Maximiano Coelho Neto
(1864-02-21)February 21, 1864
Caxias, Maranhão, Brazil
DiedNovember 28, 1934(1934-11-28) (aged 70)
Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil
OccupationPlaywright, short story writer, novelist, politician
Alma mater University of São Paulo
SpouseMaria Gabriela Brandão
Children João Coelho Neto

Henrique Maximiano Coelho Neto (February 21, 1864 – November 28, 1934) was a Brazilian writer and politician. He founded and occupied the second chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, from 1897 until his death in 1934. He was also the president of the aforementioned Academy in 1926.

Academia Brasileira de Letras organization

Academia Brasileira de Letras (ABL) is a Brazilian literary non-profit society established at the end of the 19th century by a group of 40 writers and poets inspired by the Académie Française. The first president, Machado de Assis, declared its foundation on December 15, 1896, with the by-laws being passed on January 28, 1897. On July 20 of the same year, the academy started its operation.



Coelho Neto was born in the city of Caxias, Maranhão, on February 21, 1864. His father was Portuguese, and his mother was an indigenous woman, Ana Silvestre Coelho. At six years of age, his parents moved to Rio de Janeiro. He began his education at the Externato of the Colegio Pedro II. He attempted medical school but soon gave up. In 1883 he enrolled at the University of São Paulo School of Law, living in the boarding house where also lived Raul Pompeia, who attended the Academy of São Paulo at that time. He soon found himself involved in a student movement against a professor. In anticipation of reprisals, he moved to the Law Faculty of Recife, where he completed the first year of law, having been a student of the jurist and poet Tobias Barreto. Returning to São Paulo, he devoted himself passionately to the abolitionist and Republican campaign, an attitude that led to new frictions with the University of São Paulo School of Law. In 1885 he finally abandoned his legal studies and moved to Rio de Janeiro.

Caxias is a municipality in the state of Maranhão in the Northeast region of Brazil.

Maranhão State of Brazil

Maranhão is a northeastern state of Brazil. To the north lies the Atlantic Ocean. Maranhão is neighboured by the states of Piauí, Tocantins and Pará. The people of Maranhão have a distinctive accent inside the common Northeastern Brazilian dialect. Maranhão is described in books such as The Land of the Palm Trees by Gonçalves Dias and Casa de Pensão by Aluísio Azevedo.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

He became part of a group of bohemians that included figures such as Olavo Bilac, Luís Murat, Guimarães Passos and Francisco de Paula Ney. The history of this generation appears later in his novels A Conquista and Fogo Fátuo, dedicated to his friend Francisco de Paula Ney, a brilliant orator and journalist known for his bohemian life style and his famous anecdotes. He joined the newspaper Gazeta da Tarde, later moving to the sheet Cidade do Rio, where he held the position of secretary. From this period date his first published volumes.

Olavo Bilac Brazilian poet, journalist, translator

Olavo Brás Martins dos Guimarães Bilac, often known as Olavo Bilac, was a Brazilian Parnassian poet, journalist and translator. Alongside Alberto de Oliveira and Raimundo Correia, he was a member of the "Parnassian Triad". He was elected the "Prince of Brazilian Poets" in 1907 by the magazine Fon-Fon. He wrote the lyrics of the Brazilian Flag Anthem.

Francisco de Paula Ney Poet and journalist

Francisco de Paula Ney was a Brazilian poet and journalist. A pre-eminent figure of the bohemian Rio de Janeiro of the Belle Époque, he was a friend of Coelho Neto, Aluísio Azevedo and Olavo Bilac. He was a poet famous for writing anonymous satires and jokes for the journals where he worked.

In 1890, he married Maria Gabriela Brandão, daughter of educator Alberto Olympio Brandão. They had 14 children. One of those was the famous football player João Coelho Neto (known as "Preguinho").

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Preguinho Brazilian footballer

João Coelho Neto, known more commonly as Preguinho was a Brazilian footballer in the striker position. He was born in Rio de Janeiro.

He was appointed to the post of secretary of the government of the state of Rio de Janeiro and the following year, director of State Affairs. In 1892 he was appointed professor of art history at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (National School of Fine Arts) and, later, professor of literature at the Colégio Pedro II. Author of numerous books, articles, stories and serials, he was appointed professor of history of theater and dramatic literature at the Escola de Arte Dramática (Drama School) in 1910, and soon after director of the same institution.

Escola Nacional de Belas Artes

Escola de Belas Artes is one of the centers of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and dates back to colonial times.

Colégio Pedro II state school

Colégio Pedro II is a Federal Public School located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Named after Pedro II of Brazil, it was established on December 2, 1837, and made official by Imperial decree on December 20 of the same year. It was named after the Emperor, since it was established on his birthday. Its origins can be traced to the Saint Peter Orphans' School founded in 1739, and later renamed to Saint Joachim School in 1766.

He was elected congressman for Maranhão in 1909 and was reelected in 1917. He was also secretary-general of the League of National Defense and a member of the Advisory Board of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to holding public office, Coelho Neto maintained and intensified his activities in magazines and newspapers of all sizes, in Rio and other cities. In addition to signing works with his own name, he wrote under numerous pseudonyms, including Anselmo Ribas, Caliban, Ariel, Amador Santelmo, Blanco Canabarro, Charles Rouget, Democ, N. Puck, Tartarin, Fur-Fur and Manés.

In 1923, he converted to Spiritualism, delivering a speech about his adoption of the spiritual doctrine in the Salão da Velha Guarda (Hall of the Old Guard) in Rio de Janeiro.

He was active in virtually all literary genres and was for many years the most widely read writer in Brazil. He wrote what could have been the first Brazilian serial movie, The Mysteries of Rio de Janeiro. However, only the first episode was ever completed.

He was probably the most widely read Brazilian writer in the first decades of the twentieth century. However, he and his work were attacked by the Modernists during the Modern Art Week (or Semana de Arte Moderna, in Portuguese) in 1922 and this probably contributed to his later neglect by publishers and the Brazilian public.

Modern Art Week

The Modern Art Week was an arts festival in São Paulo, Brazil, that ran from February 10 to February 17, 1922. Historically, the Week marked the start of Brazilian Modernism; though a number of individual Brazilian artists were doing modernist work before the week, it coalesced and defined the movement and introduced it to Brazilian society at large. For Brazil, it was as important as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, held in New York City in 1913, which became a legendary watershed date in the history of American art.


Coelho Neto Henrique Maximiano Coelho Neto.png
Coelho Neto
Coelho Neto on a 1964 stamp Coelho Neto 1964 Brazil stamp.jpg
Coelho Neto on a 1964 stamp

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Preceded by
Álvares de Azevedo (patron)
Brazilian Academy of Letters – Occupant of the 2nd chair

Succeeded by
João Neves da Fontoura
Preceded by
Afrânio Peixoto
President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters
Succeeded by
Rodrigo Otávio