Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

Sophia de Mello Breyner AndresenSophia de Mello Breyner Andresen was born in Oporto in 1919 and was one of the most important Portuguese poets of the twentieth century. She was the first Portuguese woman to receive the most important Portuguese language literary award, the Camões Prize, in 1999.

Created in the old Portuguese aristocracy and educated in the traditional values of Christian morality, was leader of Catholic university movements, while attending Classical Philology at the University of Lisbon.

Sophie collaborated in the Poetry Journal, where she made friends among influential and recognized authors, as Ruy Cinatti and Jorge de Sena. She became one of the most representative liberal policies figures, supporting the monarchist movement and denouncing the Salazar regime and its followers.

Danish origin on the paternal side, his great-grandfather, Heinrich Jan Andresen, landed in Oporto and never left the area. His son John Henry bought, in 1895, the Campo Alegre Farm, today the Botanical Garden. Her mother, Maria Amélia de Mello Breyner, was the daughter of the Count of Mafra, doctor and friend of King Carlos, and granddaughter of Count Henry of Burnay, one of the richest men of his time.

Sophia de Mello Breyner AndresenSophia de Mello Breyner married the journalist, lawyer and politician Francisco Sousa Tavares and was the mother of five children, who motivated her to write children's stories.

In 1964 she received the Grand Prize of Poetry, by the Portuguese Society of Writers, for her Book Sixth. She was also distinguished as a storyteller and children's books author (The Girl of the Sea, The Knight of The Denmark Knight, The Forest, The Bronze Boy, The Fairy Oriana, etc..). She translated Dante and Shakespeare and was a member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon. Beyond the Camões Prize, was also awarded with the Queen Sofia Prize, in 2003.

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen died aged 84, on July 2, 2004.