Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: A Memoir

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: A Memoir

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: A Memoir

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: A Memoir

Read FREE!

Excerpt

While Cervantes was still alive, a narrative of his experiences as a slave at Algiers was compiled by Diego de Haedo, Archbishop of Palermo, whose Topographia, e historia general de Argel was completed by the end of 1604. The Archbishop died on July 5, 1608, and four years later his book appeared under the editorship of his nephew and namesake. Over a century passed before any consecutive account of Cervantes's life was published. Little anecdotes, mostly apocryphal, were invented about him, and were circulated in France and England respectively by such writers as Rapin and Motteux. But it was not till 1737-8 that any serious attempt was made to reconstruct Cervantes's biography. This preliminary essay by Gregorio Mayans y Siscar, the most prominent Spanish scholar of his time, will be found in the prolegomena to the London reprint of Don Quixote issued by Jacob Tonson: naturally it contains much conjectural matter and some erroneous statements. In 1778 additional information concerning Cervantes was given by Juan Antonio Pellicer y Saforcada, who, in the Varias noticias literarias para las vidas de otros escritores españoles . . .

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