Isaacs, Jorge (hôrˈhā ēˈsäks) [key], 1837–95, Colombian novelist. The son of a prosperous Englishman and a creole, Isaacs witnessed the ruin and premature death of his parents and the despoilment of his estate by civil war. He fled to Bogotá, where he won critical acclaim with a book of poems ( Poesiás, 1864). His masterpiece, María (1867, tr. 1890), a melancholy romantic novel, won immediate success and was widely imitated. His finely drawn characters and colorful accounts of local customs are complemented by a masterful picture of the landscape of the Cauca valley. Isaacs was named consul to Chile and occupied several government posts, but died in poverty.
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