Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born on September 29, 1547 in Spain. After some studies in Madrid, Miguel became a soldier at the age of 21. In 1571 he took part in the battle of Lepanto. While returning from military service, Miguel was kidnapped by Barbary pirates and enslaved in Algiers for five years. After several escape attempts, he was eventually ransomed and returned to Spain in 1580. Five years later Miguel entered the civil service, working as a tax collector and government purchasing agent. However, literary success eluded the author until the publication of Don Quixote in 1605.
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