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Biography's Source: From the publisher
Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888 and died there in 1935. His father having died when he was five, he was brought up and educated in Durban; some of his early poems were written in English. Returning to Lisbon aged seventeen, he earned a meagre living translating commercial correspondence from English and French. Many of his poems were published in literary reviews, but the only book he published in his lifetime was a volume of poems on patriotic themes, which won only a consolation prize in a national competition.