Life and Adventures of Don Quixote [Christmas Summary Classics] by Miguel Cervantes
MIGUEL CERVANTES Miguel Cervantes, the son of poor but gentle parents, was born nobody quite knows where in Spain, in the year 1547. His favourite amusement when a boy was the performance of strolling players. He learned grammar and the humanities under Lopez de Hoyos at Madrid, but did not, it seems, proceed to the university. He was an early writer of sonnets, and tried his hand on a pastoral poem before he had grown moustaches. His first acquaintance with the world was acting as chamberlain in the house of a cardinal, but this life he presently abandoned for the more stirring career of a soldier. After incredible sufferings and adventures, the poor private soldier returned wounded to his family and began his career as author. He soon established a reputation, and was able to marry a quite adorable good lady with dowry sufficient for his needs. However, it was not until late in life that he wrote his immortal work "Don Quixote," which saw the light in 1604 or 1605. During the remainder of his life he was bitterly assailed by the envious and malignant, was seldom out of monetary difficulties, and very often in great pain from the disease which finally ended his career at Madrid on April 23, 1616--the same day which saw the close of Shakespeare's.