Eva’s childhood is somewhat surrounded in mystery since she herself deliberately tried to erase all traces of her past, other than the fact she was of humble birth. Her autobiography, La Razon de Mi Vida, contained no references to any childhood events, occurances, or locations. In fact, Eva even changed the date of her birth from 1919 to 1922. I do not believe this was female vanity but she had a personal and political reason to do this. Since Peron was about to marry her at this time– it was 1945– she had to change the date of her birth so she would not be considered a child born in adultery.
Eva was born in 1919 and was the last of five children. Her father left her mother(her mother was his mistress as opposed to his wife) the next year and she never saw him again. In 1923, she is thought to have been badly burnt in an accident, however, the only biographer to have stated this is Tomas Eloy Martinez in his very bizarre, jarring novel Santa Evita.
Her father died in 1926 in an accident and when her mother insisted on going to the funeral, it was likely the first time Eva left Los Toldos, her village. The funeral seems to have had a big impact on Eva, and should have, since she was only seven at the time, a very impressionable age and it was likely the first time she realized her mother and family were very poorly thought of.
She is thought to have left Los Toldos for Junin at the age of 11, in 1930. Junin was barren for the young, dreaming Eva. In this sense I can relate to her since I grew up in a small town in Ohio that also did not encourage my dreams to be a writer nor did not have many cultural activities. In this sense, when I wrote of Eva’s desire to leave Junin, I related completely.
Eva did not have much schooling– she left in 6th grade. But that did not mean she was not intelligent in other ways. Contrary to many biographers, I personally think Eva was a good actress or at the very least, a very good speaker. During her school days, Eva loved poetry and reciting it for her class and her teachers also said she was a good poet. Her classmates appear to have thought so as well.
Eva did have a couple boyfriends in Junin, but nothing too serious. It is unknown whether the rape I describe occurred for real and this would not have been spoken of at the time. If it did occur, Eva likely hid this shame and secret forever and carried it to her grave. It might explain some of her behavior later, such as her bitterness towards the ruling class since apparently the boy who raped her was a rich man.
Eva left Junin at 15 for Buenos Aires– and her dream to be an actress. It is uncertain how exactly. Many hostile biographers say she left with Magaldi, but I have covered why I do not believe she left with him before and have no need to do so again. Several Argentines I spoke to believe she left Junin with her mother, Dona Juana. This is the most likely explanation. However, Eva was a very resourceful woman and I do believe in spite of wanting to return, she had a strong will and reserve and stayed in spite of her human frailties. At the end of the day, Eva was simply too human.