|Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (source)|
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1547 and died in Madrid in 1616. His father Rodrigo de Cervantes was a doctor of few means. Nothing is known of his mother Leonor de Cortinas.
It appears that Cervantes studied with the Jesuits in Córdoba or Seville and perhaps in Salamanca. It is fairly certain that he was a pupil of López de Hoyos in Madrid. In 1569 he went to Italy as part of Cardenal Acquaviva's retinue and after signing up as a soldier in 1570 fought in the battle of Lepanto aboard the galley Marquesa.For the rest of his life he would boast of the several wounds that he received in his hands and in his forehead. Subsequently, he fought in the Corfú, Navarino, and Tunis campaigns. On his way back to Spain in 1575, the galley El Sol was attacked by Turkish ships and Cervantes was taken captive to Algeria. During his five years of captivity he wrote the Epístola a Mateo Vázquez. Juan Gil obtained Cervantes's freedom in 1580 in exchange for 500 ducats. Once back in Spain, he became a tax collector for the Invincible Armada. He had one daughter, Isabel, from his liaison with Ana de Villafranca. He married Catalina de Salazar y Palacios in 1584. He was twice imprisoned for embezzlement and for not paying his debts. He went to jail in 1603 when the corpse of Gaspar de Ezpaleta was found on his doorstep, but he was released for lack of evidence. From 1613 one of his books will appear every year until the last one, Persiles, with its dedication in which he takes leave of his readers signed three days before his death, on April 23, 1616.
Link (here) Cevantes Project 2001