Alcalá de Henares, Spain Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 29 September 1547 is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists.
His major work, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes .He has also been dubbed príncipe de los ingenios.
In 1569, in forced exile from Castile, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. In 1571, he decided to join the Spanish Navy, and participated in the battle of Lepanto, a major clash between the Catholic states and the Ottomans for the control of the Mediterranean. Following this, Cervantes’ military career was cut short when he was captured by Ottoman pirates and taken to Algiers, which had become one of the main and most cosmopolitan cities of the Ottoman Empire, and was held there for ransom between the years of 1575 and 1580. In 1580, after his captivity, he was released by his captors on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he subsequently returned to his family in Madrid.
In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. He worked as a purchasing agent for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector for the government. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts for three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville.
In 1605, he was in Valladolid when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signalled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus in 1614, and the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote in 1615. His last work Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda was published posthumously, in 1617.