Jesús Sánchez Díaz (1901-1981)

Language: Spanish

Jane Eyre translation: 1974

Born into a family of day labourers from Caudete, to illiterate parents. At his mother’s insistence he was educated from the age of three in the school of the ‘Onion’, where they recited prayers and letters of the alphabet; at six he went to the school of the Carmelite friars, which would mark him for life, but he had to leave to help his family economically. At this early age, as well as accompanying his father to work in the vineyards, he wrote and read letters to order. In 1912 he attended a Salesian school, where he would officiate as a student and professor for the next decade, finally deciding not to become a priest.

In 1926 he returned to Caudete where he established a private school as well as undertaking other work in notaries and unions. He was editor of the weekly El Ideal Caudetano and elected council member of Caudete. Between 1930 and 1934 he was appointed master in Gran Canaria and then in other Spanish towns. After the Civil War he returned to Caudete where he began again as a school teacher. It is then that, obliged by his economic situation, he began to translate commissions from Ediciones Paulinas from the French and the Italian, including several ascetic and apostolate books (he also wrote biographies commissioned by the same publisher: Blanca de Castilla, Pope John XXIII).

In addition to Jane Eyre, his abbreviated versions of English works include titles such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Robinson Crusoe. He was a regular contributor to the magazine Moros y Cristianos. His most important work would be a History of Caudete, a town where there is today a street that bears his name. 

Text by Andrés Claro