Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘The Maias’ by Eça de Queiroz – Editor’s Note

Set in Lisbon at the close of the nineteenth century, The Maias is both a coming-of-age novel and a passionate romance. Our hero Carlos Maia, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Portugal, is rich, handsome, generous and intelligent: he means to do something for his country, something useful, something that will make his beloved grandfather proud.

However, Carlos is also a bit of a dilettante. He drifts along, becoming a doctor and pottering about in his laboratory, but spends more and more time riding his splendid horses or visiting the theater, having affairs or reading novels. His best friend and chief partner in crime, Ega, is likewise engaged in a long summertime of witticisms and pleasure. Carlos however is set on a dead reckoning course with fate―with the love of his life and with a terrible, terrible secret…

Translated by the acclaimed translator Margaret Jull Costa (translator of José Saramago’s Blindness), Dedalus European Classics is proud to bring Eça de Queirós’ brilliant prose for American readers.

About the Author


José Maria de Eça de Queiroz was born in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, in 25 November 1845. An illegitimate child, he was officially recorded as the son of José Maria de Almeida Teixeira de Queirós and Carolina Augusta Pereira d’Eça. He died in 16 August 1900. Eça de Queiroz is generally considered to be the greatest Portuguese writer in the realist style. Zola considered him to be far greater than Flaubert. The London Observer critics rank him with Dickens, Balzac and Tolstoy. During his lifetime, the spelling was “Eça de Queiroz” and this is the form that appears on many editions of his works; the modern standard Portuguese spelling is “Eça de Queirós”.

About the Translator

Margaret Jull Costa has translated the works of many Spanish and Portuguese writers. She won the Portuguese Translation Prize for The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa in 1992 and for The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersão in 2012, and her translations of Eça de Queiroz’s novels The Relic (1996) and The City and the Mountains (2009) were shortlisted for the prize; with Javier Marias, she won the 1997 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for A Heart So White, and, in 2000, she won the Weidenfeld Translation Prize for Jose Saramago’s All the Names. In 2008 she won the Pen Book-of-the Month-Club Translation Prize and The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for The Maias by Eça de Queiroz.

Book Details

  • Title: The Maias
  • Author: Eça de Queiroz
  • Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
  • Series: Dedalus European Classics
  • Publisher: Dedalus Ltd
  • Date of Publication: October 20, 2016
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 714 pp.

Source: Dedalus Books

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