The Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha (Classic Reprint)by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, had been dead more than a hundred years before it occurred to any one to write his life; then it was too late to collect many details of his career. The facts that are known, however, show that he knew how to live the character of a hero, as well as to describe one
Excerpt from The Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha
Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, had been dead more than a hundred years before it occurred to any one to write his life; then it was too late to collect many details of his career. The facts that are known, however, show that he knew how to live the character of a hero, as well as to describe one with his pen.
He was born at Alcalá de Henares, a thriving university town, a little northeast of Madrid, Spain, October 9, 1547; and was, consequently seventeen years old when our English Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon. They both died on the same day, April 23, 1616.
Cervantes lived in the most stirring, the most brilliant period of Spanish history; when all Europe, roused into tremendous physical, mental, and religious activity by the electric touch of Columbus and Martin Luther, took a fresh start and began the era of Modem History, of which national and individual development is the distinguishing characteristic. In this suddenly accelerated march of progress, Spain claimed and was accorded the chief place. She stood first among the great European powers.
For half a century she, with the exception of her neighbor, Portugal, had enjoyed undisputed sway over the Spanish Peninsula. No small boast, for it had cost her hundreds of years of savage and bloody warfare against her natural rivals and enemies, the brilliant Moors, who had entered Spain in the 8th century and whose enlightened civilization had lasted nearly eight hundred years.
But her sovereign's rule was not confined to the narrow limits of the peninsula.
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