As a young man he led a wild life but then took minor orders in the Church. Bored by the religious life he turned to writing and wrote 58 novels and over 40 other volumes of poetry, criticism and plays. He is especially famous for his brilliant command of Portuguese, which he studied intensively while in prison in 1860-61 for adultery. In 1885 he was created a viscount in recognition of his contribution to Portuguese letters. His health later failed, he went blind, and committed suicide.
He was also a birth father.
The Universidade Camilo Castelo Branco was named after him.
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