Juan Arolas (1805 - 1849)
The son of well-off traders, he spent his childhood in Valencia where he studied with the Piarists. He joined this order in Peralta de la Sal in the year 1819, according to some forced by his family and according to others led by an earnest calling. It was there that he fell in love for the first time with a girl whose name is unknown. He studied philosophy in Zaragoza and theology in Valencia, and was appointed professor of the Colegio Andresiano in this city from 1825 to 1842. He also attended the literary gatherings of the editor Cabrerizo with other brethren of his order, such as Vicente Boix and Pascual Perez Rodriguez. Ardently liberal, Arolas and Perez founded a newspaper in 1833 called the Diario Mercantil in defense of freedom and Isabel II. He enthusiastically read the English and French romance writers, and wrote mostly sensuous oriental legends. Arolas led a disorderly life writing poetry with astonishing fecundity and sometimes resorting to plagiarism or paraphrasing to make money. He was very famous in the whole of Spain as a poet and did not leave the order as Boix perhaps out of fear of not finding a way to make a living. He suffered from mental illness from 1842. He was tormented by erotic delusions and had to be confined in a cell, where he died without regaining his sanity.
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