Juan de Ariza was born in Motril, Granada, Spain on December 11, 1816 and died in Havana, Cuba on July 20, 1876. He was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright whose work falls largely into the literary tradition of Romanticism. He is listed in the "Spanish Authors Collection".
Juan Ariza was the son of a wealthy family. His father died when Juan four years old and his uncle, Juan Fernando de Ariza, took charge of the youngster's education. At age thirty-seven, Juan Ariza worked at the Teatro Liceo de Motril. At age forty, he moved to Madrid where he wrote for various newspapers and magazines. In 1843, his first known work appears, A la heroica Granada. From 1845 he became known first for his historical novels and then stories inspired by popular traditions. One of his novels, Un viaje al infierno (a trip to hell), is a satire of contemporary Madrid and its people. The most important of his historical novels was El Dos de Mayo (1846). While in Madrid he befriended Ventura de la Vega and Juan Martínez Villergas. His most fruitful period was from 1848 to 1854, with more than twenty literary works, as well as collaborations with Rubí y Ventura de la Vega in the 1850 comedy Un clavo saca otro clavo (a hair of the dog). That same year he premiered his tragedy Remismunda, perhaps the best of his plays that mixes classicism and romanticism. In 1853 saw the premiere of four of his works in Madrid, including La flor del valle with music by Luis Arche. His last plays were represented in 1854, the year he was appointed Director General of the Colonies. In 1856 he came to Cuba as a senior government official. There he served as Secretary and Minister of the Court of Auditors and also held Vice President of the Spanish Casino de la Habana. In 1867 he was appointed Director of Diario de la Marina in Havana, a post he held until his death, that is, for nine years. He witnessed the outbreak of the first of the wars in Cuba. He passionately defended the interests of colonial Spain.