Cervantes 1547 - 1616 (69)

Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.


Miguel de Cervantes,

Don Quixote

(first chapter)

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer and poet, author of Don Quixote, a masterpieces of world literature, the first classical novel. Miguel was born in Alcalá de Henares, northeast of Madrid, fourth out of seven children in his family, probably on September 29, 1547. His father was an itinerant doctor and toured with his family from village to village in the Spanish countryside; so Miguel had many stimuli as a child. In 1569, he left Spain to Italy. In 1570 he joined as a mercenary soldier and took part in the Battle of Lepanto.

Cervantes was serious injuries in the battle, he stayed for 1 year in a monastery in Corfu to recover. On his return home he was caught by pirates and held captive for five years (1575-1580) in Algiers. They liberated him when his parents pay ransom and he returned to Spain. In 1584 he married a twenty years younger girl, in 1585 he published his first novel and in subsequent years he wrote several plays but with no success. He had financial problems and worked as a tax collector but because of some economic abuse he was jailed for two years (1596-1598). During his detention he had the idea of writing “Don Quixote." The work was published in 1605 and had great success. In the following years Cervantes wrote some novels and poems and in 1615 the second part of Don Quixote. He died a year later, on April 22, 1616, in Madrid.