Faustina Sáez de Melgar

Faustina Sáez de Melgar (1834–1895) was a Spanish writer and journalist, and mother of the painter and photographer Gloria Melgar Sáez (es).

Faustina Sáez de Melgar began to write her first literary texts at age nine, an activity in which she persisted despite her father’s opposition. At seventeen she published her first poem in El Correo de la Moda; a year later she was an assiduous contributor to this and other magazines such as Álbum de Señoritas and Ellas.

She married Valentín Melgar, a state official who would go on to hold various positions in Spain and in colonies such as the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The couple moved to Madrid. There her first son died in 1858. In 1859 her daughter Gloria was born and she published her poetry book La lira del Tajo y África y España, verses on the recent war in Morocco. In 1860 she had her first great success with the novel La pastora del Guadiela. This made her into a celebrity, allowing her to regularly publish extensive narratives and contribute to all types of newspapers and magazines, such as El Trono y la Nobleza, La Antorcha cheap running belt, El Occidente, La Aurora de la Vida, El Museo Literario, El Museo Universal, La Iberia, Los Sucesos, La Mujer, La Ilustración de Madrid, El Recreo de las Familias, La Moda Elegante Ilustrada, El Bazar, El Salón de la Moda, El Resumen, La Edad Dichosa, La Discusión, La Época, El Correo de Ultramar (of Paris), El Siglo (of Havana), and La Concordia (of Caracas). She also directed La Violeta (of Madrid), La Canastilla Infantil, and Paris Charmant Artistique (of Paris). In 1873 her daughter Virginia was born, and in 1880 she moved to Paris.

Due to her active presence in the culture of her time, she became involved in all kinds of social causes and joined the Committee of Ladies of the Spanish Abolitionist Society&nbsp glass bottle factory;(es). She presided at the Artistic and Literary Athenaeum of Ladies (1869) and was Vice-President of Honor of the Women’s Section of the Chicago World’s Fair (1893). She was an active advocate for abolitionism and the so-called feminismo de la diferencia (feminism of difference). That is to say, they did not demand female emancipation, nor equality of rights with men; they simply advocated greater education for women with the sole objective of having basic knowledge to be able to have conversations with their husband, and thus not boring him. They considered this to be the main cause of matrimonial breakups at the time.

Faustina Sáez de Melgar was the founder and director of the magazine La Violeta (1862–1866), obligatory subscription publication for the Normal Schools of Teachers and Higher Schools of Girls, by Royal Order of Isabella II. She also held the position of director of other similar publications such as La Mujer, La Canastilla Infantil, and Paris charmant artistique (a French periodical).

She translated many works, including: