Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

Biography of Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra Biography

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish soldier, novelist, dramatist, and poet. It is believed that he was born on the day of San Miguel, on September 29, 1547, and was baptized in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) on October 9 on the same year.

Cervantes is considered as the maximum exponent of Spanish literature, and one of the greatest references to universal literature. Cervantes is the author of a perennial work, the ingenious gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, work that has historically attributed to him the nickname as “father of the current novel”, and it is not for less, Don Quixote, is the second most translated work of history after the Bible, and although it is considered by many as the best novel ever written, he did not enjoy those compliments while he was alive.

Miguel de Cervantes has been considered an exemplary author of the novel, of late success and ungrateful works. In 1569 Miguel de Cervantes flees to Italy for what is considered a crime of blood, after wounding a man named Antonio de Sigura.

In 1570, Miguel would enter the Spanish army established in Naples and in 1571, from the services rendered as a soldier to the King of Spain, Felipe II, Miguel de Cervantes would keep a bittersweet memory, since he would be useless of his left hand in the battle of Lepanto as a consequence of the injuries he received aboard the Marquesa galley in an incessant dispute against the Turkish galleys. And it is said bittersweet because he would forever remember it, the heaviness of the inability and the joy of glory but also it would mark the origin of one of his most famous nicknames: “Manco de Lepanto” although not the only one, because he was also known as Old Soldier.

In 1575, Miguel de Cervantes and his brother Rodrigo were kidnapped aboard the Sol galley and taken to Algiers for five years, until he paid his ransom. However, his stay would not be monotonous at all; it is said that he tried to escape four times assuming the reprisals of his victimizers, suffering torture after failed attempts. At the end of his detention, he decides to return to Spain, at the age of 33 years.

In 1584, on December 12, he married Catalina de Salazar y Palacios, a young woman who was not yet 27 years old. They settled in Toledo and two years later, Cervantes embarked on extensive trips to Andalucía.

Around 1585 and fruit of a work that had begun as soon as he returned to Spain, the first part of his book La Galatea would be done. Some historians have stated that he will begin his writing between 1581 and 1583, and this was his first literary work.

In 1594, his mother Leonor dies, and Cervantes would start working as a tax collector; one more of his ungrateful jobs, until in 1597 he was imprisoned for a year for his unjustified income.

In 1600, his brother Rodrigo, his childhood companion, with who Miguel would go on the adventure and went through captivity, died in what would be one of the hardest blows in the life of Cervantes.

Around 1604, the Cervantes family settled in Valladolid, that same year the first part of Don Quixote de la Mancha, the greatest work of Spanish literature, was published with great success. Don Quixote de la Mancha would bring together the characterization of more than 200 characters, from all backgrounds, accents, and lineages; an indispensable ingredient of a work that would go beyond the borders of Spain.

Since the on, Miguel de Cervantes would acquire great fame throughout Europe, his success was overwhelming so that by 1613 he published Exemplary Novels, a year later, Viaje al Parnaso and by 1615, he would publish the second part of Don Quixote, also some comedies and interludes.

In the year 1616, Cervantes published Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, works that showed the greatness of the author.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra dies in Madrid on April 23, 1616, due to diabetes. His death occurred at the age of 68 years in the well-known Casa de Cervantes.



Although the face of Miguel de Cervantes appears, for his sonorous success, in multiple portraits of all times, there is no real image of him. Most of his portraits derive from a detailed description that the same writer made in his work Exemplary Novels.



Nowadays, Cervantes is a universal synonym of the Spanish language, such is the case of the institutionalization that the Cervantes Prize was created in his honor, an award given to Spanish-American authors who stand out for their excellent contribution to Spanish literature. In the same way, the Cervantes Institute, an organization that works for the preservation and dissemination of the language, has more than 42 centers around the world.



Within the multiple anecdotal data of the life of Cervantes, some of the most representative ones can be enunciated, and which make think that he had a life of novel between joy and even more misfortunes. Accused of hurting a man, he had to flee to Italy; he was imprisoned in battle with his brother; once again he suffered the loss of freedom because he did not justify his income in a bank in Seville; it is said that he tried to help a knight with a mortal wound and was involved and investigated.

Finally, there are many who say that, although he wrote the masterpiece of the Spanish language, he did not even make it earn money.


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