Mansilla de la Sierra

Alfaro, Anguiano, Arnedo, Calahorra, Cervera, Ezcaray, Haro, Logroño, Nájera, Camero Nuevo, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Camero Viejo

Mansilla de la Sierra is a municipality of around 55 people that belongs to 7 Villas.  It includes the locality of Tabladas.  The town’s population peaked around 612 people in 1887.  In 1900, the town had a  pharmacy, a doctor, a Civil Guard barracks, a Court and around 10,000 head of cattle.  The creation of a reservoir meant the town was moved in 1959 to its new location.  For most of the post-Franco period, the local townhall has been controlled by PSOE.

Women

Ana María Matute was part of the first generation of lesbian writers who built the modern canon of Spanish lesbian literature that started in 1964 and ended in 1975 with Franco’s death. Her 1964 novel The Soldiers Cry at Night featured a lesbian character as morally reprehensible. Matute herself was unlikely a lesbian, even as her book is part of that canon.

Matute was born on 26 July 1925 in Barcelona. After almost dying from a kidney infection at the age of 4, she moved in with her grandparents in Mansilla de la Sierra to recover, with the town being an important touchstone in her later writing. When she was an 11-year-old, the Civil War started; it would have a great impact on her life and writing. Themes she brought to her writing from her own experiences included violence, hatred, death, misery, anguish, and extreme poverty. She eventually moved to Madrid, where she attended a religious school and wrote her first novel at the age of 17. She married in November 1952, had a son and separated from her husband in 1963. Because it was impossible to divorce and the laws gave preference to men in separation, Matute was unable to see her son, a situation which caused the author distress. In 1976, Matute was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1996, she became the third woman elected to a seat in the Real Academia Española, holding the K seat. She died on 25 June 2014 in Barcelona from natural causes, and her ashes are located in the Cementerio de Montjuïc.

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Anguiano, Baños de Río Tobía, Berceo, Brieva de Cameros, Canales de la Sierra, Estollo, San Andrés, Ledesma de la Cogolla, Mansilla de la Sierra, Matute, Pedroso, San Millán de la Cogolla, Tobía, Ventrosa, Villavelayo, Villaverde de Rioja, Viniegra de Abajo, Viniegra de Arriba

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