Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born
in Spain in 1547 to a poor family. Though he wrote other books and plays, he is, of course, best
known for his epic novel, Don Quixote, published in 1605. Cervantes is believed to have
been an ardent Catholic and defender of the faith. In many ways he identified with his famous
protagonist, Don Quixote, having been a soldier himself, perhaps even fashioning himself a knight-errant
of sorts. After spending several years in a war prison, he would work as a tax collector and finally
as a writer to pay off his debts. His work would win him international repute, and Cervantes would
go on to write a second part to the book in 1615. The "Spanish Shakespeare" died in April of 1616.