Manuel Llano Merino, also known as Nel Llano was a prominent early 20th century Cantabrian writer.He was born on January 23, 1898 in Sopeña, Cantabria. His father, clog maker of trade was known as Manueluco the blind for a problem he suffered in the view with his sight. The family did not have much money for this reason that he lived with his grandparents in Sopeña, in a place known as the round Corral, and his parents lived in Santander.
He later attended P.s. Sopeña and from there to the foundation of the friars of La Salle. At that time Manuel already presented a "cloud" in the left eye as indicative of a hereditary illness. Later would tell her story own Manuel Llano, for a time he worked as sarrujan in the brañas of high mountain passes of the mancomunidad Campoo-Cabuérniga in Carmona, where he had relatives."... Manuel Llano has been sarrujan in his childhood. Only, in high summer nights the sarrujan of Carmona told star and learned the directions of birds, the beasts from the jungles, traces of wild animals, the noise of a sheet, the click of a yerbecilla breaking... "." To be definitely blind father of Manuel, this had to accompany him in the job of lazarillo... "because we have been seeing-eye. A hand landed on our shoulder, in the leagues of many roads in the sadness of many solitudes". He moved to Santander to live, now, with his parents.
At age 15, Manuel appeared already enrolled in studies of teaching. But in 1917, motivated by his adventurous zeal, he conceived the idea of becoming a marine and enrolled in Santander nautical school. In 1923, at the age of 25, he married the Burgos María Lazarus but its economic situation forces him to continue living with his parents in Santander. Then he was already working in the Santander journal "El Pueblo Cántabro". Occasionally attended the tertulia marshalling library Menéndez Pelayo where, among others, was attended by Artigas, Cossio, Sanchez Reyes, Maza and also attended sporadically that form in the Atheneum Swiss cafe and was atended by Francisco Obregón, Diaz Munio, Luis Corona, Mauro Muriedas, Fernandez Muriedas, Manuel Hoyos, José Hierro, Jose Luis Hidalgo, etc.
Manuel Llano loved rural life and his adventures through the villages in search of legends and customs and Cantabrian traditions were very frequent. He was held in high esteem and prestige as writer and folklorist and wrote Las Anjanas.
In 1931, he published “Branaflor”, a collection of stories, myths, and similar topics. In 1932 he published peasants in the city. In 1934 he published La Braña, rebec. In 1935, parables and child altarpiece. In 1937 he published Monteazor.
During the years of the Civil War, we know that Manuel Llano made numerous efforts to escape persecution and even death and many people sought his favor. We hear stories that make reference hiding people or to the special protection provided to paying even sleep in their beds, to bring war front,... etc. On the night of December 31, 1937, the writer retreats to his home, and after dinner, lies. When the clock bells announcing the end of the year,Llano presented the first symptoms of the evil that would cause him death in a few hours.
His life had been hard, he had endured all kinds of hardships, lived important moments in the history of Spain, the loss of the colonies (Cuba, Philippines) and the Civil War. Left a widow, three sons and a few projects that would never be: works edited as “Green land”, the book of fools, tales of January or mauve. So, kindly man, the friend of children and elders, one of the greatest writers of the región died at the age of forty. His funeral was simple, with little accompaniment. In 1980, by agreement of the Town Hall of Santander, his remains were moved to the Pantheon of illustrious sons of the city.
On June 29, 1979, the Mayor of Torrelavega, Juan Ramón Tirado, tribute Manuel Llano, for his fundamental role in Cantabrian literature and gave his name to a street of Torrelavega.