camilo de almeida pessanha

Camilo Pessanha (1867-1926) was born the illegitimate son of a law student and a maid on September 7, 1867 in Coimbra, Portugal. He later followed his father’s footsteps and took a degree in Law at the prestigious Universidade de Coimbra. In 1894, after having graduated from Coimbra and suffering from a failed love-affair, Pessanha re-located to the Portuguese colony of Macau were he took a position as a Philosophy teacher at the newly formed Macau Lyceum. In 1900 he was nominated as public defender, and later judge. To pass his time, besides composing poetry, he immersed himself in the local culture, collected Chinese art and became a respected China authority in the colony. Pessanha died on March 1, 1926 due to complications aggravated by his chronic opium use. He was survived by a son and a concubine.

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