La Novela Teatral

Contents: Series History | Characteristics of the series | Other issues of _La Novela Teatral_ |

Series History

Series Director: José de Urquía

Series start date: December 17, 1916, Año I, no. 1 Trata de blancas by Felipe Trigo

Series end date: June 14, 1925, Año X, no. 447 El padre de la patria by Antonio Paso and José Rosales

Total issues: 447

Initial price: 10 céntimos

Last price: 50 céntimos

Other prices: 20, 30, 40 céntimos

Periodicity: Weekly (Sundays)

Characteristics of the Series

La Novela Teatral defined itself against La Novela Corta and La Novela Cómica through its publication of dramatic texts. The texts inside these issues instead of being formatted like prose follow the conventions of scripts. As opposed to the texts of La Novela Corta which were specifically advertised as being unpublished, the scripts published in La Novela Teatral are advertised as being performed. José Antonio Pérez Bowie writes that the intended audience of La Novela Teatral was clearly people who had gone to the theater to see the show and then wanted to be able to re-experience it by reading the script 1.

A notable visual characteristic of La Novela Teatral are its covers. As opposed to La Novela Corta and La Novela Cómica which often used author photographs as their cover art, almost all of the cover illustrations for La Novela Teatral are caricatures drawn by Manuel Tovar from Granada, who was one of the most famous caricature artists of his time. These four-color illustrations are of some person well-known in the world of theater, but not necessarily related to that particular issue 2. For example, in Las superhembras at left, the caricature is of Sofia Casanova, the author of another item in this digital library Triunfo de Amor.

The authors featured in La Novela Teatral are mostly Spanish from either the 19th or 20th century. There are less contemporary foreign plays such as La Giaconda by Gabriele D’Annuzio and a few classic pieces of foreign drama like Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Overall, only 70 titles by foreign authors (mostly French) were published, which makes up just 15% of the total series run. Surprisingly, there are only eleven Golden Age works of drama: three by Lope de Vega, two by Calderón, and one each by Tirso de Molina, Agustín Moreto, Vélez de Guevara, Guillén de Castro, Rojas Zorilla, and Ruiz de Alarcón. This makes sense given that the issues are trying to reflect the plays that were currently playing to be sold to the public that just saw them 3. The author with the most works published in La Novela Teatral is Enrique García Álvarez with 33 issues, though the majority are colaborations with other authors. Carlos Arniches and Pedro Muñoz Seca each had 26 works (single and multi-author), while Vital Aza is in third place for the greatest number of works with 22. One of his most interesting works is Francfort: juguete cómico tetralingue (no. 32, 1917) which has dialogue in German, French, Spanish, and Catalan.

The range of theatrical genres represented in the series is varied: comedies, dramas, tragedies, melodramas, and even musical works like zarzuelas 4. Las superhembras is described as a comedy.

Other issues of La Novela Teatral

In this table you can search for other digitized issues of La Novela Teatral not part of the collections of this digital library. Click on the hyperlinked title of an entry to be taken to the facsimile or the catalog record for the facsimile. Multiple years of publication, authors, and translators may be selected, you can bound your search by issue number, and you can do a text search on titles.


  1. Pérez Bowie, p. 5. 

  2. Pérez Bowie, p. 12, 28. 

  3. Pérez Bowie, p. 17, 22-23. 

  4. Pérez Bowie, pp. 18-19.