António Maria de Sousa Sardinha was born in Monforte do Alentejo on 9 September 1887.
A poet, historian and politician, he initially came to the public's attention as an essayist and doctrinal polemicist, becoming a leading figure within Portuguese intellectual circles during his lifetime. Sardinha published his first poems at the age of 15 through the assistance of Eugénio de Castro.
In 1911 he studied law at the University of Coimbra. As a student he had been an active supporter of municipalist republicanism, although he was to become profoundly disillusioned with he Portuguese Republic. As a result, he converted to Catholicism and monarchism, and joined up with Hipólito Raposo, Alberto de Monsaraz, Luís de Almeida and Pequito Rebelo to found the magazine, Nação Portuguesa (Portuguese Nation), which developed a political philosophy that defended "traditional, organic and anti-parliamentary monarchism," and which was the launching-pad for the cultural-political movement Integralismo Lusitano (Portuguese Integralism).
It did not take long for Sardinha to emerge as the leading figure within this group of young Integralists (the "First Generation") - primarily as a result of his power with words. During 1915, he became immersed in his own personal passage from being a 'man of letters' into being a politician - a transformation that can be traced to a meeting of the Liga Naval de Lisboa (Lisbon Naval League) at which he stressed the perils of Portugal's possible absorption into the Kingdom of Spain.
He was elected as a monarchist deputy to Sidónio Pais' parliament in 1918.
With the fall of Sidonismo and the defeat of the monarchist uprisings of 1919 he fled into exile in Spain.
On his return to Portugal 27 months later, he became the director of the daily newspaper, A Monarquia (Monarchy), in which he involved himself in the defence of Thomist philosophical and sociological doctrine and, rejecting Spengler's decadence thesis, in the defence of Hispanic Catholicism as the basis for the survival of Western civilisation. He died in Elvas on 10 January 1925 at the age of 37.
Amongst some of his poetic works are: Tronco Reverdecido (The newly verdant trunk - 1910); Epopeia da Planície (Epic of the plains - 1915); Chuva da Tarde (Afternoon rain - 1923); Era uma Vez um Menino (Once upon a time there was a small boy - 1926); O Roubo da Europa (The theft of Europe - 1931); and Pequena Casa Lusitana (Small Portuguese home - 1937).
His studies and essays included: O Valor da Raça (The value of the people - 1915); Ao Princípio era o Verbo (In the beginning was the Word - 1924); A Teoria das Cortes Gerais (The theory of the General Cortes - 1925); and Ao Ritmo da Ampulheta (To the rhythm of the timepiece - 1925)