Maria Olga de Moraes Sarmento da Silveira

Last updated
Olga Moraes Sarmento da Silveira
BornMaria Olga de Moraes Sarmento da Silveira
26 May 1881
Setúbal, Portugal
Died17 October 1948(1948-10-17) (aged 67)
Lisbon, Portugal
Occupationwriter, feminist
PartnerBaroness Hélène van Zuylen (companion)

Olga Moraes Sarmento da Silveira (nèe, Maria Olga de Moraes Sarmento da Silveira; known also as, Olga Morais Sarmento; 26 May 1881 - 17 October 1948) was a Portuguese writer and feminist.


Early years

Maria Olga de Moraes Sarmento da Silveira was born in Setúbal, 26 May 1881. She was a daughter and granddaughter of military men, spending part of her childhood in Elvas, where she became a friend of Virgínia Quaresma. [1] She married a Navy physician when she was 16, who died shortly afterwards in combat, in Cuamato, Angola.

Setúbal Municipality in Lisboa Region, Portugal

Setúbal is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population in 2014 was 118,166, occupying an area of 230.33 km2 (88.9 sq mi). The city proper had 89,303 inhabitants in 2001. It lies within the Lisbon metropolitan area.

Virgínia Quaresma Portuguese journalist

Virgínia Sofia Guerra Quaresma was the first woman to take up professional journalism in Portugal and was one of the first women graduates from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon. She was openly lesbian, in a time when society dictated that sexual orientation be hidden, and a feminist, who advocated for full equality between men and women. Traveling to Brazil to write about a sensational murder case, she brought violence against women to the forefront, in a case that spanned almost a decade. In the 1930s, she relocated permanently to Brazil, but traveled internationally with her work. A street was renamed in her honor in the city of Belém and in 2010, she was honored with a stamp bearing her likeness, along with other women.


Moraes associated with a group of Portuguese intellectuals, who at the beginning of the 20th century, fought for civil rights, as well as women's legal and political rights. She succeeded Ana de Castro Osório as editor-in-chief of Sociedade Futura (founded 1902). She affiliated with Liga Portuguesa da Paz (Portuguese League of Peace), cofounding the organization and serving as president of its Feminist Section in 1906.

Ana de Castro Osório Portuguese suffragist

Ana de Castro Osório was a Portuguese feminist, active in the field of children's literature and political Republicanism.

On May 18, 1906, Moraes delivered a lecture on "Problema Feminista" (Feminist Problem) at the Sociedad de Geografía de Lisboa. [2] She also traveled as a lecturer to South America, visiting Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. In Brazil, she met and became friends with the writer Júlia Lopes de Almeida. [3]

Júlia Lopes de Almeida Brazilian writer

Júlia Valentina de Silveira Lopes de Almeida was one of the first Brazilian women to earn acclaim and social acceptance as a writer. In a career that spanned five decades, she wrote in a variety of literary genres; however, it is her fiction, written under the influence of the naturalists Émile Zola and Guy de Maupassant, that has captured the attention of recent critics. Her notable novels include Memórias de Marta, the first Brazilian novel to take place in an urban tenement, A Família Medeiros, and A Falência. Immensely influential and appreciated by peers like Aluísio Azevedo, João do Rio and João Luso, she is remembered as an early advocate of modernized gender roles and increased women's rights, as a precursor to later women writers like Clarice Lispector, and for her support of abolition. She was married to the poet Filinto de Almeida.

Personal life

Moraes lived in Paris during the First World War. For more than thirty years, she was a companion and partner of Baroness Hélène van Zuylen, of the Rothschild banking family of France, whom she saved from the Holocaust by taking her to Lisbon and then to New York City. [4] She also devoted herself to writing the Baroness' memoirs.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Hélène van Zuylen French socialite, author, auto racing pioneer

Baroness Hélène van Zuylen van Nijevelt van de Haar or Hélène de Zuylen de Nyevelt de Haar, née de Rothschild, was a French socialite, author, a sporting figure in Parisian life and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.

Rothschild banking family of France

The Rothschild banking family of France is a French banking dynasty founded in 1812 in Paris by James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868). James was sent there from his home in Frankfurt, Germany, by his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812). Wanting his sons to succeed on their own and to expand the family business across Europe, Mayer Amschel Rothschild had his eldest son remain in Frankfurt, while his four other sons were sent to different European cities to establish a financial institution to invest in business and provide banking services. Endogamy within the family was an essential part of the Rothschild strategy in order to ensure control of their wealth remained in family hands.

Moraes was closely linked to her city of birth, Setúbal, leaving all her assets to the Municipal Chamber, including her personal library and a vast collection of autographs of personalities from art, music and literature in postcards, letters, and books. This legacy is part of the collection of the Museo de Setúbal/Convento de Jesús. [5] She died in Lisbon, 17 October 1948. [6]

Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal church building in Setúbal, Setúbal District, Portugal

The Monastery of Jesus is a historical religious building in Setúbal, Portugal, which served a monastery of Poor Clare nuns. It is one of the first buildings in the Manueline style, the Portuguese version of late Gothic. The cloisters of the complex houses a museum of the monastery.

Selected works


Related Research Articles

Diogo Freitas do Amaral Portuguese politician

Diogo Pinto de Freitas do Amaral, known as Freitas do Amaral, is a Portuguese politician and law professor. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 12 March 2005 to 3 July 2006. He also served briefly as Prime Minister in an interim capacity in the early 1980s.

Humberto Delgado Portuguese politician

Humberto da Silva Delgado, ComC, GCA, GOA, ComA, OA, ComSE, GCL, OIP, CBE was a General of the Portuguese Air Force and politician.

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage Portuguese politician and zoologist

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage was a Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museu Nacional de Lisboa in Lisbon. He published numerous works on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor.

A cantiga is a medieval monophonic song, characteristic of the Galician-Portuguese lyric. Over 400 extant cantigas come from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, narrative songs about miracles or hymns in praise of the Holy Virgin. There are near 1700 secular cantigas but music has only survived for a very few: six cantigas de amigo by Martín Codax and seven cantigas de amor by Denis of Portugal.

Maria Teresa Mascarenhas Horta is a Portuguese feminist poet, journalist and activist.

João Soares de Albergaria de Sousa, frequently referred to as João Soares de Albergaria, was a liberal politician, rural property-owner, and author of the histo-cultural manifesto Corografia Açórica, which was published in 1822, the first Azorean thesis on regional sovereignty.

António Osório Sarmento de Figueiredo Jr. was a Portuguese nobleman, jurist, politician and magistrate.

Augusto Carlos Teixeira de AragãoComACavCCavACavTE was a Portuguese Army officer, doctor, numismatist, archaeologist and historian. As an officer of the Portuguese Army, he retired with the rank of general. Teixeira de Aragão is considered one of the "fathers" of Portuguese numismatics.

Maria Isabel Barreno de Faria MartinsGOIH was a Portuguese writer.

João Vaz Portuguese teacher and painter

João José Vaz was a Portuguese painter and decorator who specialized in maritime subjects.

Maria Morais Werneck de Castro was a Brazilian lawyer, militant communist, and feminist.

Antonio Maria Bettencourt Rodrigues was a doctor, Portuguese diplomat and politician.

Maria João Espírito Santo Bustorff SilvaGOM is a Portuguese restoration specialist, philanthropist and former politician. She is known for her historical and cultural restoration and preservation work in both Portugal and Brazil through the Ricardo Espírito Santo Foundation, and also for being Minister of Culture during the government of Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes.

Sociedade Propagadora dos Conhecimentos Úteis newspaper

The Sociedade Propagadora dos Conhecimentos Úteis of Lisbon, Portugal, formed in 1837. The group produced a weekly illustrated magazine, O Panorama, intended for the general interest reader and priced relatively affordably. According to the society, some copies were also distributed free of charge to charities such as Casa Pia orphanage and Casa de Expostos. Editors included Alexandre Herculano, António Feliciano de Castilho, and António de Oliveira Marreca. Other contributors included Rodrigo Jose de Lima Felner.

Antónia Gertrudes Pusich was a Portuguese poet, dramaturgist, journalist, pianist and composer.

Elzira Dantas Machado

Elzira Dantas Gonçalves Pereira Machado was a Portuguese feminist activist. From 1882 until her death in 1942, she was the wife of Bernardino Machado, two-time President of the Portuguese Republic and, as such, was the First Lady of Portugal from 1915 to 1917 and again from 1925 to 1926.

Sarmento is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:


  1. "Maria Olga de Morais Sarmento da Silveira". En: Dicionário no Feminino (séculos XIX-XX), dirección de Zília Osório de Castro y João Esteves, coord. António Ferreira de Sousa, Ilda Soares de Abreu e Maria Emília Stone (Lisboa: Livros Horizonte, 2005), pp. 736-37.
  2. SARMENTO, Olga Moraes. As Minhas Memórias (Lisboa: Portugália, 1948), pp. 189.
  3. SARMENTO, Olga Moraes.
  4. As Minhas Memórias, pp. 312-13.
  5. "Olga Moraes Sarmento (1881-1948)". Municipal de Setúbal. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  6. INDEX 2014, p. 392.
  7. Moraes Sarmento da Silveira 1906, p. 1.


Moraes Sarmento da Silveira, Olga (1906). Problema feminista (Public domain ed.). F.L. Gonçalves.