Miguel de Cervantes. Biography

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is a Spanish writer, one of the key figures of the Renaissance, the creator of the “eternal image” of Don Quixote, which has become a universal symbol of humanity.

The life of M. de Cervantes in dates and facts

Supposedly September 29, 1547 – was born in the town of Alcalá de Henares near Madrid, in the family of a physician, who came from an impoverished small-landed noble family. In search of means of subsistence, the family often moved from city to city, because of which the future writer did not receive a systematic education. It is known that in Madrid he studied at the city collegium with the humanist JL de Hoyos, but acquired most of his knowledge independently.

In 1569 Miguel moved to Italy. At the request of his teacher, the ambassador of Pope Pius V of Spain, Cardinal Aquaviva, accepted young Cervantes to his service.

In 1570 – enlisted in the soldiers.

October 7, 1571 – as part of the joint Spanish-Venetian fleet took part in the famous battle with the Turks at Lepanto. Because of the injury received in this battle, the left hand of the writer remained paralyzed for life. Despite this, Cervantes spent four more years in military service, participating in sea and land battles. His military merits were noted in a letter of recommendation by the commander-in-chief of the Spanish army in Italy, addressed to the King of Spain, Philip II.

In 1575, the writer sailed to Spain, but along the way he was captured by Algerian pirates. A letter of recommendation, which was to... improve his financial situation, played a cruel joke with him, prompting pirates to request an unreasonably high ransom for such a valuable prisoner. As a result, Cervantes spent five years in captivity, from which he repeatedly tried to escape, but only in 1580, after he was bought by Dominican monks, he was able to return to his homeland. From the same time, the retired soldier began writing.

In 1585 the novel “Galatea” was published, which brought success to the author, but not money. Trying to break into the stage, Cervantes wrote dramas, including the most famous of his plays – the heroic drama “Numancia.” But these literary experiments did not save him from a semi-existent existence.

In 1587 the writer received a modest post of quartermaster, whose duties included collecting provisions in Andalusia for the Invincible Armada – the Spanish flotilla, which was preparing at the time for war with England. Later, he became a tax collector. Not having inclinations and skills for this activity, Cervantes twice briefly ended up in prison, where he had the happy idea to write a novel about Don Quixote.

1605 – the first volume of Don Quixote was published, whose enormous success prompted the author to fully devote himself to literary work.

1613 – published a Cervantes collection of “Educational novels.”

1614 – there was a fake of the second volume of “Don Quixote”, written by Alois Fernandez de Avellaneda.

In 1615, Cervantes printed the second part of his “Don Quixote”.

1616 – the novel “The Wanderings of Persilius and Sikhismunda” was completed.

April 23, 1616 – the writer died in Madrid.


Miguel de Cervantes. Biography