Summary: Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo Branco was born on the 16th of March 1825 in São Miguel de Seide, in the Kingdom of Portugal. A prolific author he produced over 260 books known for their romanticism and dark humor.
He was arrested twice; the first time for having unearthed the remains of his first wife (whom he had married at the age of 16, and who had died at 24) and the second due to his adulterous affair with Ana Plácido, who was married at the time.
Camillo Castello Branco, the Viscount of Correi Botelho, was born out of wedlock. Both of his parents died when he was an infant. He studied off and on in Oporto and Coimbra. Camillo was one of the most prolific writers. He was undisciplined and showed disdain for politics so could not qualify for a government post. Instead, he took up the occupation of writing letters. He later went to the Episcopal seminary in Oporto to study for the priesthood. Camillo was made a viscount in 1885 as recognition of his services penning letters. When his health failed and he lost his sight the parliament gave him a pension for life. His publications number around 260. His greatest reputation was gained from his romance novels.
From the Portuguese Directorate - General of the Book, Archives and Bibliographies:
Camilo was one of the most prolific writers of Portuguese romanticism. His literary work was diversified: poetry, pamphlets, critic reviews, novels, plays and historical works. Born in Lisbon he was orphaned early and lived with his older sister and paternal aunt in Tras-os-Montes. He married Joaquina Pereira at the age of fifteen. He left her to raise their daughter. In 1843 he enrolled in Medical School but did not finish his studies. In 1846 he tried to attend law school in Coimbra but he was not admitted. He returned to Vila Real where he met Patricia Emilia de Barros. After running away with her he was accused of kidnapping and misappropriation and was arrested. From this union came Bernardina Amelia, born in 1848. In 1846 following the revolt of Maria da Fonte, he fought alongside the guerillas. In 1850 he returned to Lisbon and began a career as a polemicist. He then met Ana Augusta Placido (married to Manuel Pinheiro Alves) and had an adulterous relationship with her. Porto society frowned upon this relationship. Ana gave birth to a son, presumably Camilo's, causing her husband to press charges of adultery against them both. Camilo was arrested again. He was visited by the young king while in prison and continued to translate letters and write his novels. He was finally acquitted and took Ana and their son Jorge and moved to Quinta in Sao Miguel de Ceide (in 1864). Jorge later developed an irreversible madness and abused drugs. Camilo, totally blind, committed suicide in Sao Miguel de Ceide 1 Jun 1890.
Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890) was a novelist, chronicler, critic, playwright, historian, poet and translator. He was the most prolific writer in Portugal and perhaps the 'greatest figure in the Romantic movement.' Full name Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo Branco, born in Lisbon on March 16, 1825, in the parish of the Martyrs, in a building on Rua da Rosa (currently divided between number 5 and 13). He was the son of Manuel Joaquim Botelho Castelo Branco, a man with a hereditary nickname of "O Brocas". His father was frequently involved in scandals and was a womanizer that had several lovers. Camilo was born out of one of these relaitonships. It is said he was registered as the son of an unknown mother as the paternal grandmother of Camilo didn't want the scandal attached to the family name. Camilo's father died when he was ten. His mother died when he was one. He had a sporadic education. He read Portuguese and Latin classics and ecclesiastical literature. He married Joaquina Pereira de França at the age of sixteen. Less than a year later he left her pregnant with their daughter. He spent time studying as a priest, then went to medical school. He was restless and irreverent and neglected his studies. He fell in love with Patricia Emilia do Carmo de Barros and also a nun Isabel Candida. He was living with Patricia in 1846 when his lawful wife died. Their daughter died the following year and Camilo broke off the relationship with Patricia. He wrote many booklets and criticisms. He fell in love with Ana Augusta Vieira Placido in 1850. She was engaged to another man. Camilo was brokenhearted when she married and entered the seminary. That lasted just over a year. He then had seduced and had an affair with Ana Placido. In 1859, they decided to flee. They were captured and tried by authorities. Camilo was accused of both kidnapping and adultery. In 1863 he publishes his most famous novel: " Amor de Perdição ", which consolidates his reputation as a writer and brings him national fame. In 1885 the king D. Luis I of Portugal, decides to grant to him the title of 1st Viscount of Correia Botelho. That same year he finally married Ana Plácido. Camilo was 60 years old. He developed progressive eye problems and was unable to read or work. Depression sunk in and his temper grew. On 1 Jun 1890, at 6pm, Camilo fired a gun at his right temple to commit suicide. He lived in an 'agonizing coma' until 5pm the following day. He was buried perpetually in the tomb of a friend, João António de Freitas Fortuna, in the cemetery of the Venerable Brotherhood of Our Lady Lady of the Lapa. He was 65 years old.
↑ per Wikipedia biography. An original source needs to be found for this.
He had a daughter with Patrícia Barros named Bernardina Amélia (1848). He and Ana Plácido had two boys: Jorge (1863) and Nuno (1864). Had a sister named Carolina Rita Castelo Branco (1821). Grandchildren: Maria Camila, Flora, Camilo, Nuno, Raquel, Simão, Manuel and Estela (Nuno's children) and Camila and Camilo (Bernardina's children). Parents: Manuel Joaquim Botelho Castelo Branco and Jacinta Rosa Ferreira. He and Joaquina had a daughter named Rosa (1843).
"Biografia de Camilo Castelo Branco (Lisboa, 1825 - São Miguel de Ceide/Vila Nova de Famalicão, 1890), Centro de Documentação de Autores Portugueses". Direcção-Geral do Livro e das Bibliotecas. January 2005.
"Camillo Castello Branco – Esboço de Crítica, Otelo, o Mouro de Veneza, bom estado, papel escurecido de época, com carimbo do antigo dono. em bom estado, escasso, rara camiliana".