Miguel de Cervantes

Portrait attributed to [[Juan de Jáuregui]], original lost, but described in detail by Cervantes in the prologue of his [[Exemplary Novels]]{{efn|The portrait is a well-known one, supposedly from the hand of [[Juan de Jáuregui]]. However, no authenticated image of Cervantes exists; the original Jáuregui painting is lost, and so was itself never authenticated (and the names of Cervantes and Jáuregui on it were added centuries after it was painted). Arguably the most reliable description of the writer is was provided by Cervantes himself in the author's preface of the [[Exemplary Novels]], where he complained that the lost portrait by [[Juan Martínez de Jáuregui y Aguilar]] was not used as a frontispiece.<ref name="Gut">{{cite book |author= Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de |date= 22 December 2004 | title= Novelas ejemplares [1613] | language= English | translator= Kelly, Walter K. | trans-title= Exemplary Novels | editor =  | edition =   | volume = | series=  | page= Unknown | pages= | location=  |publisher= Project Gutenberg | format = E-book | isbn=  | doi= | url= http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14420/14420-8.txt | accessdate = 9 December 2019 | archive-url= |archive-date= |quote =}}</ref>{{verification needed|date=December 2019}}{{quote|This person whom you see here, with an oval visage, chestnut hair, smooth open forehead, lively eyes, a hooked but well-proportioned nose, and silvery beard that twenty years ago was golden, large moustaches, a small mouth, teeth not much to speak of, for he has but six, in bad condition and worse placed, no two of them corresponding to each other, a figure midway between the two extremes, neither tall nor short, a vivid complexion, rather fair than dark, somewhat stooped in the shoulders, and not very lightfooted: this, I say, is the author of ''Galatea'', ''Don Quixote de la Mancha'', ''The Journey to Parnassus'', which he wrote in imitation of Cesare Caporali Perusino, and other works which are current among the public, and perhaps without the author's name. He is commonly called MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA. [Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra]<ref name="Gut"/>{{verification needed|date=December 2019}}}}}}<ref>{{cite journal| first= José María |last= Chacón y Calvo| date= 1947–48| title= Retratos de Cervantes| journal= Anales de la Academia Nacional de Artes y Letras| language= es| volume= 27| pages= 5–17}}</ref><ref>{{cite book| first= Enrique Lafuente |last= Ferrari | year= 1948 | title= La novela ejemplar de los retratos de Cervantes| language= Spanish | translator=  | trans-title=  | editor =  | edition =   | volume = | series=  | page= Unknown | pages= | location= Madrid, ES |publisher= Unknown publisher | isbn=  | doi= | url=  | accessdate =  | archive-url= |archive-date= |quote =}}{{full|date=December 2019}}</ref>{{full|date=December 2019}} Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra The earliest documents signed with Cervantes' two names, ''Cervantes Saavedra'', appear several years after his repatriation. He began adding the second surname ''Saavedra'' to his patronymic in 1586–1587 in official documents related to his marriage to Catalina de Salazar.}} ( , ; 29 September 1547 (assumed)22 April 1616 NS) was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. His novel ''Don Quixote'' has been translated into over 140 languages and dialects; it is, after the Bible, the most-translated book in the world.

''Don Quixote'', a classic of Western literature, is sometimes considered both the first modern novel and the best work of fiction ever written. Cervantes' influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called ''la lengua de Cervantes'' ("the language of Cervantes"). He has also been dubbed ''El príncipe de los ingenios'' ("The Prince of Wits").

In 1569, in forced exile from Castile, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. Then he enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates. After five years of captivity, he was released on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he returned to his family in Madrid.

In 1585, Cervantes published ''La Galatea'', a pastoral novel. 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, Cervantes 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, publishing ''Novelas ejemplares'' (''Exemplary Novels'') in 1613, ''Viaje del Parnaso'' (''Journey to Parnassus'') in 1614, and ''Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses'' and the second part of ''Don Quixote'' in 1615. His last work, ''Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda'' (''The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda''), was published posthumously in 1617. Provided by Wikipedia
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