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Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano Basilio (1834 – 13 February 1893) was a Mexican writer, journalist, teacher and politician.

Altamirano was born in Tixtla, Guerrero, of pure indigenous Nahua heritage. His father was the mayor of Tixtla, this allowed Ignacio to attend school there. He later studied in Toluca thanks to a scholarship that was granted him by Ignacio Ramírez, of whom he was a disciple. He founded several newspapers and magazines including El Correo de México ("The Mexico Post"), El Renacimiento ("The Renaissance"), El Federalista ("The Federalist"), La Tribuna ("The Tribune") and La República ("The Republic").

Altamirano was president of the Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística (Mexican Society for Geography and Statistics) from 1881 to 1889. He was also public prosecutor, magistrate and president of the Supreme Court, as well as senior officer of the Ministry of Public Works and the Economy.

Statue in San Remo, Italy

Altamirano wrote several books which had considerable success in his time; among them were:

  • Clemencia (Clemencia) (1869) - considered the first modern Mexican novel
  • La Navidad en las montañas (Christmas in the mountains) (1871)
  • Antonia (1872)
  • Beatriz (1873)
  • Cuentos de invierno (1880)
  • Rimas (1880)
  • El Zarco (written 1885–1889, published 1901)

His literary work portrays the Mexican society of the time. He died in San Remo, Italy, in 1893.


  • Clemencia (1869), Ed.Elibros, ebook. ISBN 9789588732312
  • La Navidad en las montañas (1871), ebook, Ed.Elibros ISBN CDLPG00010825
  • El Zarco (2002), Ed. Siglo XXI, México. ISBN 9789682322402


  • Auto-translated Bio at ("Unknown Mexico" website)

External links

  • Works by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Ignacio Manuel Altamirano at Internet Archive
  • Works by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • The audiobook Clemencia can be downloaded from Leer Escuchando (Spanish)
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