The Woman with No Name (La mujer sin nombre)

A writer silenced by History… until now.

Stage director Noelia Cid is a hardworking, disciplined, intuitive, and highly organized woman. When she is commissioned to direct Spell, a play by renowned playwright Gregorio Martínez Sierra, she decides to use the documents that his wife María Lejárraga preserved, to conduct the research.

Noelia is amazed to discover that the real author of the play was in fact María Lejárraga herself, who had used her husband’s name as a pseudonym to get published.

Fascinated, Noelia embarks on a deep investigation to unravel the life of this talented and prolific author who was silenced for over a century. She delves into the complex romantic relationship between María and Gregorio, which was scarred by the secret they kept and by Gregorio’s infidelities with the most important actress at the time, Catalina Bárcena.

Here begins a fascinating journey into the past, where we delve into the exciting life of María in Madrid in the early 20th century, a time when she was a part of the literary circles of Madrid and was friends with the best-known authors of her time, such as Juan Ramón Jiménez, Manuel de Falla, María Guerrero, and Matilde Huici.

After separating from her husband in 1922, María fully partook in various political causes closely related to the first wave of feminism, and she became one of the founding members of the Lyceum Female Club. She joined the Socialist Party and held several public posts during the Second Republic.

Through time jumps, the book takes us from the past to the present, as Noelia embarks on a journey of self-discovery after she realizes that her path is very similar to María’s. However, the renowned theatre director, who commissioned her to direct some of his most ambitious projects, insists on taking credit. Learning about the enormous effort that María had to do to fight against adversity helps Noelia become more confident. In the end, the names of both women appear on the poster of Sortilege on the day of its premiere.


RELEVANT INFORMATION: The Woman with no Name takes the main character from Signed, Lejárraga; a play written by Vanessa Montfort. The play was a total success, and it was a finalist for the Max Awards for Best Theatrical Authorship.

The Woman with no name is a powerful story inspired by the life of author María Lejárraga, also known as María Martínez Sierra. It is a thrilling novel about a determined woman in times of absolute adversity, and a story about love, heartbreak, and self-love.

The work has all the ingredients to be adapted into a television series that can attract large audiences, like The Time in Between or The Queen’s Gambit. It is deeply contemporary, as it deals with topics such as empowerment or silenced voices.

The universe of this novel is made up of some of the main landmarks of the intellectuals at the time: the Café Gijón, the Café Comercial, the Fontana de Oro, and the vibrant and bustling centre of Madrid, a place of exchange for the intellectuals at the time.

Vanessa Montfort is the author of numerous novels and plays, including the international bestseller Women Who Buy Flowers, which has been translated into twelve languages. The Woman with no name has been translated into Italian and it’s currently being translated into Croatian.


What the critics have said about the book and its author:

“María Lejárraga was part of a generation of feminists with group consciousness.” S Moda, El País.

“What a fantastic read; elegant, entertaining and so well written. Thank you so much Vanessa, for introducing us to this great woman and writer.” Goodreads.

“Exceptional. The story, the narration, and the thread. The story of María Lejárraga, a woman we should all know.” Goodreads


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Spanish, Italian, and Croatian.

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