Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de

[Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra] (1547-1616) Author, born Alcala de Henares, Spain; died Madrid. He left the service of Cardinal Acquaviva in Italy to enter the Spanish army and was wounded at Lepanto. Later he was captured by the Corsairs and after five years in Algiers was ransomed. His first literary work was a pastoral romance "Galatea," followed by unsuccessful attempts at dramatic poetry. An irregularity in his accounts as tax collector led to his incarceration at Seville in 1597, during which period he is said to have evolved his masterpiece "Don Quixote" (first part, 1605; second, 1615). His remaining works are the twelve "Novelas exemplares," "Entremeses" (Interludes), "Yiaje del Parnaso," rhymed review of contemporary poets, and the novel "Persiles y Sigismunda."

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