Author. A leading humanist writer of the 1600s, noted for his bitter satires of Spanish society. He is best known today for "The Swindler" (1626), a classic picaresque novel. The prose narrative "Visions" (1627) is a mocking guide to the inhabitants of Hell, including bad writers. In "The Politics of God" (1626) he contrasted the teachings of Christ with the treachery of Spanish court intrigue. Much of his poetry was composed in an intricate style called "conceptismo", which emphasized wit and wordplay. Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas was born in Madrid into a noble Castilian family. Orphaned at age six, he received an excellent education at Alcala and Valladolid and developed a passion for theology (though he never considered taking holy orders). Quevedo's writings and bellicose personality caused him much trouble throughout his life. He waged a decades-long literary feud with his chief rival, author Luis de Góngora, and was involved in many lawsuits. In 1611 he killed a fellow nobleman in a duel and fled to Italy, where he entered the service of the Duke of Osuna; with the Duke's downfall in 1620 he was exiled at his estate in La Mancha. Despite his reputation he managed to ingratiate himself with King Philip IV and was eventually appointed royal secretary. In 1639 Quevedo was accused of writing a poem condemning corruption in Philip's court and was imprisoned without trial at the monastery of San Marcos in Leon. He was released in 1643, his health ruined, and spent his remaining years in quiet retirement. His poems, about 800 of which survive, were first collected in the posthumous volume "The Spanish Parnassus" (1648).
Bio by: Bobb Edwards