Benito Perez Galdós spent more than forty years vacationing in Santander. “It will be very difficult for me to be completely impartial talking about Santander and the mountain people, because of my love for this town, my summer barracks, my refuge from the heat for fourteen years,” Galdós wrote in 1885. first time to that capital in 1871 counting then with 28 years.
The historian, anthropologist and sociologist, Gonzalo Pedro Sánchez Eguren, will stop to explain in detail the link between Galdós and Santander in the conference entitled And Don Benito arrived at La Montaña, which will be delivered on February 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the House-Pérez Galdós Museum, in the framework of the cycle Talking about Galdós.
In this conference Sánchez Eguren proposes to make a virtual journey and reproduce those scenarios Don Benito met when he arrived in Santander in that first trip in which he was probably accompanied by one of his sisters, from Concha, and his sister-in-law Magdalena, a person who was very important to him because thanks to her, with his resources, Galdós could publish The Golden Fountain.
The Mountain is as it was popularly called the province of Santander where Benito Pérez Galdós he ordered the construction of the San Quintín palace, the writer’s residence for long periods and from which he wrote some of the most representative works of his creative career. The literary production of the Canarian writer, the sale of his books and the success of some plays allowed him to acquire some land, first, and later build a villa near Sardinero: San Quintín in 1892. The affection of the Canarian author in that region would be reflected in its title Forty leagues for Cantabria. Forty-seven years of neighbor served him to know Cantabria thoroughly, either traveling by her with José María de Pereda or with Rubín, his faithful gardener. Rubin died nine years after Don Benito, sitting on the bench next to the entrance door of San Quintin, waiting for bread and milk to arrive, as he had done during the previous thirty years.
In July 2019 the Santander City Council published a choral book, Santander galdós, to evoke the presence in Santander of the great Canarian novelist through seven literary visions (Juan Gómez Bárcena, Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, Gonzalo Calcedo, Enrique Álvarez, Javier Tazón Ruescas, Gerardo Gullón and Joaquín Leguina), framed between a writing by José Ramón Saiz Viadero and an interview of Azorín to Galdós, which serve to center the texts. A drawing by Andrea Reyes illustrates its cover, with a calligraphy that includes the phrase of love from Galdós to Cantabria: “It will be very difficult for me to be completely impartial talking about Santander and the mountain people, because of the love I have for this town, my summer headquarters, my refuge. “
Gonzalo Pedro Sánchez Eguren, a graduate in History, Political Science, Sociology, Social and Cultural Anthropology, will approach this stage of the Grancanarian author’s life in the aforementioned talk. Currently Sánchez Eguren is a professor at the University of Adults of Cantabria and disseminator of the heritage of the province of Cantabria in different national and international institutions, such as the Cervantes Institutes of Stockholm and Harvard.
This act is part of the extensive program of activities planned for the commemoration of the centenary of the death of Benito Pérez Galdós that is being fulfilled this year 2020.