Júlio Dinis

This page lists items in the database related to Portuguese Physician Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho, better known by his pseudonym Júlio Dinis, who was one of the great figures in Medicine and Literature in Portugal since the XIXth Century until nowadays (born Porto, Portugal, 14th November of 1839; died Porto, Portugal, 12th November of 1871):

Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho, better known by the pseudonym Júlio Dinis, was born in Porto on 14th November 1839 and four days later was baptized in the church of S. Nicolau in the same city.

His father, José Joaquim Gomes Coelho, was born in Ovar and was a surgeon at the Escola Médico-Cirúrgica do Porto. He married Ana Constança Potter Pereira in Porto, although with British ancestry. They had nine children. When he was about six years old, Júlio Dinis mother passed away of the disease that would become the most unfortunate inheritance of the family – tuberculosis – which also took the lives of her eight siblings and, later, herself. Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho, in 1853, after completing the preparatory course at the Liceu, enrolled at the Polytechnic Academy of Porto. After attending Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Botany, and Zoology with good grades there, he enrolled at the Escola Médico-Cirúrgica do Porto in the academic year 1856-57. It was at this school, that, in 1861, he defended his dissertation entitled On the Importance of Meteorological Studies for Medicine and Especially of its Applications in the Surgical Field.

After finishing the course, he immediately thought of pursuing a career as a professor, because he considered the profession of a doctor to be of great responsibility. He applied for the position of a demonstrator at the school where he had graduated, but only on the third attempt did he get the place, in 1865. His career was interrupted several times due to the illness he suffered, which forced him to move to rural environments, such as Ovar.

It was in Ovar, in his first air cure, in 1863, that he fell in love with a different type of novel than the one he had been writing – the rural novel. Until then, his works had a lyrical novelistic and city romance character. He used the pseudonym Júlio Dinis for the first time in 1860 when he sent poetry texts to the magazine Grinalda.

Nobody knew who Julio Dinis was, but everyone enjoyed his poems. His main works are all signed as Júlio Dinis and are the following ones: As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor (1867), A Morgadinha dos Canaviais (1868), Uma Família Inglesa (1868), Os Nobres da Casa Mourisca (1871). From the abovementioned literary works, As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor and the A Morgadinha dos Canaviais were written in his house in Ovar.

Marking the transition between romanticism and realism and influenced by the reading of great English authors, such as Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, Júlio Dinis cultivates in his work the careful treatment of familiar and everyday themes with ingenious resolution.
He was written so beautiful books that are still read and taught in many places because they recreate the way of living of the people in XIXth century.

Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho, or Júlio Dinis, passed away in the dawn of 12th September of 1871, in the house of cousins in Oporto, in the Rua de Costa Cabral. In his last days, he had been confined to a bed for some time, barely being able to walk.

In the 2021 edition of Feira do Livro do Porto, Book Fair of Porto, which takes place at Palácio de Cristal his dedicated to honoring him and his literary work.

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