Miguel de Cervantes

This portrait, attributed to [[Juan de Jáuregui]],{{efn|Although Cervantes wrote in his preface to ''[[Novelas ejemplares|Exemplary Novels]]'' that Jáuregui did paint his portrait: "el cual amigo bien pudiera, como es uso y costubre, grabarme y esculpirme en la primera hoja de este libro, pues le diera mi retrato el famoso D. Juan de Jauregui".}} is unauthenticated. No authenticated image of Cervantes exists.<ref>
{{cite journal |first=José María |last=Chacón y Calvo |title=Retratos de Cervantes |journal=Anales de la Academia Nacional de Artes y Letras |language=es |volume=27 |date=1947–1948 |pages=5–17}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |first=Enrique Lafuente |last=Ferrari |title=La novela ejemplar de los retratos de Cervantes |language=es |year=1948}}</ref> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616 NS) was an Early Modern Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. He is best known for his novel ''Don Quixote'', a work considered as the first modern novel. The novel has been labelled by many well-known authors as the "best book of all time" and the "best and most central work in world literature".

Much of his life was spent in relative poverty and obscurity, which led to many of his early works being lost. Despite this, his influence and literary contribution are reflected by the fact that Spanish is often referred to as "the language of Cervantes".

In 1569, Cervantes was forced to leave Spain and move to Rome, where he worked in the household of a cardinal. In 1570, he enlisted in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment, and was badly wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in October 1571 and lost the use of his left arm and hand. He served as a soldier until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates; after five years in captivity, he was ransomed, and returned to Madrid.

His first significant novel, titled ''La Galatea'', was published in 1585, but he continued to work as a purchasing agent, and later as a government tax collector. Part One of ''Don Quixote'' was published in 1605, and Part Two in 1615. Other works include the 12 ''Novelas ejemplares'' (''Exemplary Novels''); a long poem, the ''Viaje del Parnaso'' (''Journey to Parnassus''); and ''Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses'' (''Eight Plays and Eight Interludes''). The novel ''Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda'' (''The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda''), was published posthumously in 1616. Provided by Wikipedia
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