How many love affairs did Lope have?


Lope had affairs with eleven women, in addition to his two wives. The length and intensity of those affairs varies, some were more casual, while others deeply affected the poet and are greatly present in his work.

María de Aragón, unmarried. 1580. Apparently, he had a daughter with her, Manuela (January 1581- August 1585).

Elena Osorio, married to the actor Cristóbal Calderón. Lope had a relationship with her that lasted for four years (between 1583 and 1587). When Elena Osorio left him, the poet took it very badly and wrote libels about her and her family. It was for those writings that he was condemned to exile.

Unknown Portuguese lover. 1588.

Antonia Trillo de Armenta, widow. 1596.  The relationship with this rich, attractive women, who ran a gaming house in the Plaza de Matute, was the reason for another indictment, this time for public cohabitation.

Micaela de LujánActress, she was married to the actor and representative Diego Díaz, who lived in Peru and with whom she already had two daughters when she met Lope in 1598. Their relationship lasted nine years, until 1607, and they had four children, two of them when she was still married to Diego Díaz, and two more after she was widowed: Marcela and Lope Félix. Of all of them, Lope Félix, is the only one who is registered in the baptism records as son of Lope de Vega Carpio and Micaela de Luján. The actress lived first in Toledo and then in Seville (where Lope spent time between 1602 and 1604). However, she returned to Toledo where Marcela was born. She ended up living in Madrid. There, in 1607, the poet rented a house on Calle del Fúcar, which was the family home. This was close to the house on Calle de Francos (today Lope de Vega House Museum), where Juana de Guardo and his children later moved.
The affair with Micaela de Luján ended after the birth of Lope Félix and with it any reference to it in his work. The couple’s last two children, Marcela and Lope Félix, took care of their father in 1614.
Micaela de Luján is present in Lope’s work, where she appears with the name Camila Lucinda. Of extraordinary beauty, she was, nonetheless, uncivilized, too illiterate even to sign a document, so that the poet only had praise for her blue eyes, her hair, her white hands…
“Belleza singular, ingenio raro, 
fuera del natural curso del cielo,
Etna de amor, que de tu mismo hielo
despides llamas, entre mármol Paro.
Sol de hermosura, entendimiento claro,
alma dichosa en cristalino velo,
norte del mar, admiración del suelo,
émula al sol, como a la luna el faro;
milagro del autor de cielo y tierra,
bien de naturaleza el más perfecto,
Lucinda hermosa en quien mi luz se encierra:
nieve en blancura y fuego en el efecto,
paz de los ojos y del alma guerra,
dame a escribir, como a penar, sujeto”.
, married to the actor and representative  Diego Díaz. Lope had a nine-year relationship with this actress (1598 – 1607), with whom he had a surprising four children.

Unknown lover from Valencia. 1599. He had one son with her, Fernando Pellicer or Friar Vicente.

Jerónima de Burgos, married to the playwright Pedro de Valdés. Lope had a very close relationship with her beginning in 1607. Their affair was sporadic, but they also enjoyed a close professional relationship and friendship. Jerónima was actually the godmother at Lope Félix baptism, one of the sons the poet had with Micaela de Luján.

Lucía de Salcedo. 1616. She was also an actress, known as “the crazy woman from Naples.” She was the first lady of Hernán Sánchez de Vargas’ company of actors. 

Unknown lover. Another actress who chased Lope, until making him flee Madrid for Toledo.

Unknown lover. Although there is no information on this woman, we know that the poet had a son with her, Friar Luis de la Madre de Dios.

Marta de Nevares SantoyoMarta de Nevares met Lope before she was 25 years old and he was in his sixties and had been ordained a priest. Married since the age of 13 to Roque Hernández, a very crude and much older trader and businessman, she had two children from this marriage.
The couple met at a poet’s party, in a garden in Madrid, where apparently, the poet surrendered before the lady’s overwhelming beauty. (“Sus ojos verdes, la perfecta nariz, las manos y pies pequeñitos, cejas y pestañas negras, cabellos rizos y copiosos, boca que pone en cuidado los que la miran cuando ríe, gentileza de cuerpo, inteligencia viva, ingenio, habilidad en tañer instrumentos musicales y en escribir con facilidad literatura...”). That encounter marked the beginning of a lasting and very passionate, although complicated and painful relationship. Their love remained strong until 1632, when Marta died. The story of this love affair is marked by the decision of the lovers to confront the cruel and evil words of the court. They were surrounded by the unfriendly gossip regarding their difference in age, Marta’s marriage and Lope’s priesthood. Of course, the birth of the child Antonia Clara was the cause of rumors, but she was finally registered as the legitimate daughter of Marta de Nevares’ husband.
In 1621, Marta, who lived with Lope in the house on the today-named Calle Cervantes (Lope de Vega House Museum) became gravely ill. She first went blind and then went crazy. The poet, destroyed, cared for her until the last moment in 1632. She was his great love and he dedicated many verses of his work to her. Marta de Nevares, given the nicknames Marcia Leonarda and Amarilis, appeared in eclogues and plays, where Lope de Vega made his love known. (“No quedó sin llorar pájaro en nido, / pez en el agua ni en el monte fiera, /...y es la locura de mi amor tan fuerte, / que pienso que lloró también la muerte”).
married since the age of 13 to Roque Hernández, a very crude and much older trader and businessman. Young Marta de Nevares was not yet 25 when she met Lope, who was then in his sixties and had been ordained a priest. She was the writer’s final lover and one of his great loves. 

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