Renowned Spanish Writer. From his first novel, La Galatea, to his final production Los Trabajos de Persiles y Segismunda in 1617, Cervantes won the respect and admiration of the world. The fourth of 7 children, he was born into a poor family but from a very early age Cervantes showed his love for adventure and literature. His family was always on the move in search of better fortune and Miguel led the life of a nomad which was to have an acute influence in his immortal novel El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. In 1568 he traveled to Italy where he learned Italian and the Italian style of writing. On October 7, 571, he fought on the side of the Christians against the Turks in the famous Battle of Lepanto. In this battle he lost the use of his left hand and was maimed for life. On December 12, 1584, he married a teenage girl, Catalina de Palacios y Salazar y Vosmediano, who was 19 years his junior. Since he was physically unable to continue being a soldier, he pursued writing. He spent much time in prison mainly due to tax reasons. He was captured by pirates and spent 5 years and one month in jail (1575-1580) in North Africa. He took ill (probable from diabetes) and died in Madrid on April 23, 1616, the same day as the death of William Shakespeare.
Bio by: Professor Alphonse Dattolo
Catalina de Palacios Y Salazar y Vosmediano de Cervantes
1565–1626 (m. 1584)