|Abílio Campos Monteiro
Writer, journalist, doctor and politician
Abílio Adriano de Campos Monteiro, son of José Carlos Monteiro, from Braga, and of Maria Joaquina de Campos, from Torre de Moncorvo, was born in this Trás-os-Montes town on 7 March 1876 and was baptized in the town church on the 10th of the following month.
After his primary education exam he was transferred, at 8 years old, to the region of Ribeira Lima, accompanied by an uncle. He finished high school in Viana do Castelo in 1891.
His literary calling developed quite early. At 15 he was already writing for "O Moncorvense" and, later on, for the periodicals "Jornal de Viana", "A Vida Nova" and "Aurora do Lima" and for "Pontos e Vírgulas" from Porto. He was also the director of some of these newspapers.
In 1894 he enrolled in Polytechnic Academy of Porto and, among other works, he wrote his first poetry book, entitled "Arco-Íris", and the leaflet "Pró-Pátria".
In the academic year of 1896-1897 he finished the preparatory for Medicine and enrolled in Medical-Surgical School of Porto. During the course, he got married to Olívia Barros Coutinho (1897), daughter of the doctor Tavares Coutinho, from S. Mamede de Infesta, had his older sons, Germano and Heitor (Celeste and Ofélia would be born later on) and he dedicated 4 sonnets to Professor João Pereira Dias Lebre (1829-1900), later published in a booklet.
In 1902 he graduated with the inaugural dissertation entitled "A Neurasthenia (Apontamentos e opiniões)" ["Neurasthenia (Notes and Opinions)"].
Campos Monteiro dedicated his whole life to Letters. He was, as stated above, a journalist, a novelist and a poet, but also a playwright, a translator, a lecturer and an author of roughly 100 book prefaces. Among his publications the following stand out: "Os Lusíadas Anotados e Parafraseados" ["The Lusíadas with Notes and Paraphrases"], a textbook widely used, the monograph "Entre Douro-e-Minho" from the collection "Portugal", of the Ibero-American Expo in Seville (1929), the biography of Zé do Telhado and the work "Saúde e Fraternidade" ["Health and Fraternity"], a satirical account of the '20s national politics and that was the best-selling work during the first quarter of the 20th century.
He directed "Argus", an illustrated monthly magazine published between May and July in 1907 and, alongside Ferreira de Castro, he co-founded "Civilização – Grande Magazine Mensal", published between 1928 and 1937. He was also one of the promoters of the weekly humorous "Maria Rita". Throughout his career he used several literary pseudonyms, such as: Abel Moreno, Aloísio, António Pobre, Almo, Abimont, Mercúrio, Hamilton, Gil Barbeira, Catulo, Turidu and Marcial Jordão. He collaborated with the following periodicals: "Lucta de Bouças", "O Leça", "O Lidador", "Debate", "Época", "Jornal de Notícias", "O Primeiro de Janeiro", "Ilustração Moderna", "Comércio de Lima", "Distrito de Viana", "A Pátria" (a monarchial evening newspaper), "A Voz Pública", "Monitor", "Limiana", "Revista de las Españas", "Colónia Portugueza" (S. Paulo) and "Almanak de Ponte de Lima".
Besides being an observant and a critic of national politics, Campos Monteiro was a proactive citizen who stood out in the performance of several public duties. He was an administrator in the city council of Maia, a monarchic congressman for the district of Porto during the government of Sidónio Pais (1918) and a militia doctor-captain (nominated on 19 November 1917), serving in the Recruiting District n. 18. He ended up being discharged from the rank of major, on 28 August 1919. Campos Monteiro was also president of the Association of Journalists and Men of Letters from Porto, the Girondist Club and the Group of the Modest and vice-president of the Portuguese Medical Association.
Campos Monteiro, one of the most popular writers of his day, died on 4 December 1933 in his house in S. Mamede de Infesta.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2012)