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Cecilia Francisca Josefa Böhl von Faber (or de Faber) was the daughter of a German merchant who became consul at Cadiz, her mother's city of origin. She was raised mainly in Germany and went to Spain with her family in 1813. She married firstly Antonio Planells, a Spanish soldier; secondly a Spanish grandee, the marqués de Arco Hermoso; her third marriage in 1837 was to Antonio Arrom de Ayala, a Spanish noble 20 years her junior. She adopted the literary pseudonym of Fernan Caballero, and in addition to writing the history of Spanish literature, she is credited with the introduction of the popular novel in Spain -- she produced over 50 romantic novels, including the famous and realistic La Gaviota (The Seagull) in 1849. She also collected folk-tales and native poetry. Her completed works were later published in 13 volumes.
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