"The Mayas" and "The Crime of Father Amaro", are two of the best-known novels he wrote. He is considered one of the best Portuguese realistic writers of the nineteenth century. He marked the Portuguese literature with a literary production of high quality and much of it is still a reference. His work has been translated into 20 languages.
Born on November 25, 1845, in Povoa do Varzim, he was registered as a son of unknown mother. Born of an irregular relationship, the father was a court magistrate. He spent part of his childhood away from his parents, who eventually married, when he was four years old. Until 1851 he was raised by a nanny in Vila do Conde, after handed into the care of his grandparents, in Aveiro. With ten years old he was admitted at the College of Lapa, in Porto. In 1861 he enrolled in the course of law in the University of Coimbra, which he ended in 1866. After graduation he worked as a lawyer in Lisbon, but quickly realized that it wasn’t a promising career and he quitted.
In 1867 founded the newspaper "The District of Evora." Months later, he settled in Lisbon and worked with the Gazette of Portugal. In 1869 he made a trip to Egypt and Palestine, having knowing the one who became his wife in 1886. But in 1869 he creates his alter-ego, Fradique Carlos Mendes. The following year he starts collaboration with Ramalho Ortigão, who published "The Farpas", which is a political and social critic. In Lisbon he rediscovered some of his colleagues from college, including Antero de Quental they got together and formed an intellectual group. Also in 1870 he was appointed administrator of the county of Leiria, this environment, would later inspire the scenario of "The Crime of Father Amaro." Meanwhile he followed a diplomatic career and became a consul in Havana, Cuba. While occupying this post he, took a long trip to the United States and Canada at this stage he wrote the famous book "The Tale of Father Amaro." In 1874 he was transferred to Newcastle and wrote "The Cousin Basilio" and four years later he went to Bristol. Following the Casino conferences, in 1877, he wrote several novels that were a critical analysis of Portuguese society of that time. These novels have the generic name of " Portuguese Scenes."
In 1888 it moved to Paris and the following year began to direct the "Portugal Magazine", for three years. Over his life he wrote several novels, being the most known, beyond those already mentioned, "The Capital", "The Mayas," The Count Abranhos and Alves. "Curious is that "The Mayas," a reference on Portuguese education in, has not achieved the success that the author expected. His latest works are "The Illustrious House of Ramires," "The City and the mountains" and "Contos", they all show a certain disenchantment with the modern world and a desire to return to the origins, the rural life. He died in Paris on August 16, 1900.