The Crime of Father Amaro
Eça de Queiroz
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From the publisher
Translated by Margaret Jull Costa
The Crime of Father Amaro is a good introduction to Portuguese literature. Published in 1878 it is the first great realistic novel in the language. In it Eça sets out to expose the hypocrisy of small-town provincial Portugal, of so called freethinkers and the Church. In this blackest of comedies, Eça depicts the destructive effects of celibacy on a priest lacking any true vocation. Father Amaro, whose name means 'bitter' in Portuguese, sours forever the life of the young Amelia. It is a novel in which the innocent are condemned and the guilty prosper.