About Me

Aubrey Bell's Biography (Books)

To Authors Index

Aubrey Fitz Gerald Bell (1881-1950)

Spanish and Portuguess literature have lost one of their most distinguished lovers. Aubrey Fitz Gerald Bell was born August 20, 1881, and died May 7, 1950 at Victoria, B. C. An Oxford graduate, he was assistant librarian in the Department of Printed Books in the British Museum from 1905 to 1908. Most of the rest of his life was spent in the Iberian penisula. For a time he was correspondent of the Morning Post in Spain. He tramped Spain and Portugal, acquiring unrivaled knowlege of fields and cities; be studied the Basque language near the Pyrenees. From this experience dates his admiration for the virtues of the Iberian peasantry. He settled at S.Joao do Estoril on the Tagus below Lisbon, and from his solitary dwelling on the cliff wrote reviews for The Times Literary Suplement, purchased books for The British Museum, and accumulated a choice private library. Married in 1933 to Barbara Lindsay Wilkie, he transfered his home to Manique de Baixo, halfway between the river and Cintra. He was invested with the Order of Santiago by the Portuguesse government. In 1940 the shadow of World War II compelled him to sacrifice his library and take his wife and two sons to Canada, first to Toronto, then to Victoria. By nature averse to public appearance, Aubrey Bell ahunned all university connections.

More than thirty volumes bear the name Aubrey F.G. Bell on the title-page. On this impressive list the best known are perhaps Portuguese Literature and Portuguese Bibliography (1922), the Borrovian A Pilgrim in Spain (1924), the Oxford Book of Portuguese Verse (1925), several works on Luis de Leon, Castilian Literature (1938), and Cervantes (1947). He did a series of monographs on Spanish and Portuguese figures for the Hispanic Society of New York, translated several novels and much poetry (Lyrics of Gil Vicente, 1914, 1921, 1925; Four Plays of Gil Vicente, 1920; Lirics of Luis de Leon, 1928). A number of his critical works have appeared in Spanish and Portuguese versions. Importaint contributions to the Ravue Hispanique and innumerable book reviews increase the total writing notably.

Under the pseudonym "Alvaro Giraldez" he published an edition of Gil Vicente's Aulo de la Sibila Casandra (1921) and prose selections from Luis de Leon (1924). As "A.F. Gerald" he printed two volumes of original poems and a translation of Gil Vicente's The Ship of Hell (1929).

To Authors Index