Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas

Don Ángel de Saavedra y Ramírez de Baquedano, 3rd Duke of Rivas (Spanish: Ángel de Saavedra y Ramírez de Baquedano, Duque de Rivas; 10 March 1791 – 22 June 1865) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and politician born in Córdoba. He is best known for his play Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (Don Álvaro, or the Force of Fate) (1835), the first romantic success in the Spanish theater.

The Duke of Rivas
Ángel de Saavedra, duque de Rivas (Museo del Prado).jpg
Ángel de Saavedra; by Gabriel Maureta y Aracil (1832–1912)
Prime Minister of Spain
In office
18 July 1854 – 19 July 1854
MonarchIsabella II
Preceded byFernando Fernández de Córdova
Succeeded byBaldomero Espartero
Personal details
Born10 March 1791
Córdoba, Spain
Died22 June 1865 (aged 74)
Madrid, Spain
Resting placeSaint Isidore Cemetery
Political partyRealista Moderado


De Saavedra fought in the war of independence and was also a prominent member of the advanced Liberal party from 1820 to 1823. In 1823, Rivas was condemned to death for his liberal views and fled to England. He lived successively in Italy, Malta and France, until the death of Ferdinand VII in 1833 and the amnesty of 1834, when he returned to Spain, shortly afterwards succeeding his brother as duke of Rivas.[1]

In 1835 he became minister of the interior under Isturiz, and along with his chief had again to leave the country. Returning in 1837, he joined the moderate party, became prime minister, and was subsequently ambassador at Paris and Naples[1] and director of the Real Academia Española.[citation needed]

In 1813 he published Ensayos poéticos, and between that time and his first exile several of his tragedies (the most notable being Alatar, 1814, and Lanuza, 1822) were put upon the stage. Traces of foreign influence are observable in El Moro expósito (1833), a narrative poem dedicated to John Hookham Frere; these are still more marked in Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (first played on 22 March 1835 in Madrid),[1] a drama which emerged from heated literary controversy.[citation needed]

Don Álvaro is of historical importance inasmuch as it established the new French romanticism in Spain.[1] The play was used as the basis of Francesco Maria Piave's libretto for Verdi's opera La forza del destino (1862). As a poet, Rivas's best-known work is Romances históricos (1841), adaptions of popular legends in ballad form.

Marriage and childrenEdit

He married María de la Encarnación de Cueto y Ortega (1806–1885) and had 9 children, including :

  • Enrique Ramírez de Saavedra y de Cueto (1828–1914), 4th Duke of Rivas
  • Gonzalo de Saavedra y Cueto (1831–1899), mayor of Madrid


  1. ^ a b c d   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Saavedra, Angel de". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 954.


  • Duque de Rivas, Obras completas (Madrid 1956).
  • R. Cardwell, "Don Álvaro or the Force of Cosmic Injustice" in Studies in Romanticism 12 (1973): 559–79.
  • D. T. Gies The Theater in Nineteenth-Century Spain (Cambridge 1994).
  • G. H. Lovett, The Duke of Rivas (Boston 1977).
  • W. T. Pattison, "The secret of Don Álvaro" in Symposium 21 (1967): 67–81.
  • J. Valero and S. Zighelboim, "Don Álvaro o la fuerza del signo" in Decimononica 3 (2006): 53–71.
  • Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1912). "Angel de Saavedra Remírez de Baquedano" . Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

External linksEdit