UT Health Science Center San Antonio

Guide to the Mariano Azuela Papers

Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Azuela, Mariano, 1873-1952
Title: Mariano Azuela Papers
Inclusive dates: 1899 - 1993
Abstract: Mariano Azuela was a Mexican author and physician, best known for his fictional stories of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The Azuela Papers contain a copy of the 1899 medical thesis of Dr. Azuela and correspondence with his daughter, Doña Julia Azuela de Toral, regarding her donation.
Identification: MS 21
Extent: 1 folder, 4 items
Language: Materials are in written in English and Spanish.
Repository University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, UTHSC Libraries, University Archives, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Biographical Note

Mariano Azuela was a Mexican author and physician, best known for his fictional stories of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. He wrote novels, works for theatre, and literary criticism. His 20 novels chronicle almost every aspect of the Mexican Revolution.

Azuela was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, on January 1, 1873. He studied medicine in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Among Azuela's first published writing were some short pieces written in 1896 for the magazine Gil Blas Cómico, under the pen name of "Beleño" and the heading "Impressions of a Student." Azuela received his medical degree in 1899. He practiced medicine first in his home town of Lagos de Moreno, and later, after the Mexican revolution, in Mexico City. During his days in the Mexican Revolution, Dr. Azuela wrote about the war and its impact on Mexico. Like most of the young Liberals, he supported Francisco I. Madero’s uprising, which overthrew the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Under Madero he served as chief of political affairs in Lagos de Moreno and afterwards as state director of education in Jalisco. After Madero’s assassination, he joined the Constitutionalist cause that sought to restore the rule of law. He traveled with the military forces of Julián Medina, a follower of Pancho Villa, where he served as a field doctor and often wrote at the camp fire during forced marches. His participation in the conflict gave him ample material for writing.

He was forced for a time to emigrate to El Paso, Texas when the counterrevolutionary forces of Victoriano Huerta were temporarily triumphant. It was there he wrote Los de abajo (The Underdogs), his first-hand description of combat during the Mexican revolution. It depicted the futility of the revolution, based on his own experiences. He first published the novel as a serial in the newspaper El Paso de Norte from October – December 1915.

In 1916 he moved to Mexico City where, for the rest of his life, he continued his writing and worked as a doctor among the poor. Azuela was fundamentally a moralist, and his disappointment with the Revolution soon began to manifest itself. He had fought for a better Mexico, but he saw that the Revolution had given rise to injustices as equally deplorable as those the Revolution had sought to correct. Several of his novels from this period reflected his disillusionment with the revolutionary struggle and were critical of the new regime.

In 1942 Azuela received the Mexican national prize for literature. On April 8, 1943 he became a founding member of Mexico's National College. In 1949 he received the Mexican national prize for Arts and Sciences. He died in Mexico City on March 1, 1952 and was placed in a sepulchre of the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres


"Mariano Azuela, "Wikipedia, accessed May 14, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano_Azuela

"Mariano Azuela,” "Encyclopaedia Britannica (online), accessed May 14, 2014. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/47063/Mariano-Azuela

"Mariano Azuela,” "http://www.penguin.com/author/mariano-azuela/1000001887, accessed May 14, 214.

"Mariano Azuela,” "http://www.farmworkers.org/azuela1.html , accessed May 14, 2014

Scope and Contents

The Mariano Azuela Papers contain a copy of his 1899 medical thesis and correspondence with the donor, his daughter Doña Julia Azuela de Toral.


Arrangement of Collection

The collection is arranged in a single series in one box with one folder.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use. Materials may be viewed in the reading room of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Index Terms

Azuela, Mariano, 1873-1952
Toral, Julia Azuela de
Literature - history - Mexico
Mexico - history - Revolution, 1910-1920
Pneumonia - therapy - Academic Dissertations
Physicians – history - Mexico
Document Types

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], in the Mariano Azuela Papers, MS 21, University Archives, UTHSC Libraries, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.


Materials in this collection were donated in 1993 to the Library of the University of Texas Health Science Center by Doña Julia Azuela de Toral, daughter of Dr. Mariano Azuela.

Collection History

Received as a donation from Doña Julia Azuela de Toral, daughter of Mariano Azuela, in 1993.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by: Anne Comeaux, May 15, 2014

Detailed Description of Collection


Series 1. Thesis with Correspondence

Box Item
MS 21 1 Letter to Doña Julia Azuela de Toral from Marvin Forland, M.D. thanking her for donation of her father’s medical thesis. August 10, 1993.
2 Letter to Doña Julia Azuela de Toral from John P. Howe, III, M.D., President of University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, thanking her for donation. August 30, 1993.
3 Paper with handwritten address of Julia Azuela de Toral.
4 “Estudio sobre la indicación principal en el tratamiento de la neumonía,” medical thesis submitted by Mariano Azuela to the Escuela de Medicina in Guadalajara. June 16, 1899.
Photocopy containing 33 pages plus cover letter.
Material is in Spanish. Cover letter verifies completion of required classes and passage of exam for the profession of medicine. Signed and with stamp from the Escuela de Medicinia Guadalajara.