Spanish author of the masterpiece novel, Don Quixote. The early 17th-century work tells the story of a man driven so mad by reading chivalrous tales that he comes to believe he is a knight.
He worked in his youth as an assistant to a Roman priest, and he later enlisted in the Spanish Navy. As a young man, he devised a plan to run away and marry his lover; however, her father discovered their plan and forbade her to see Cervantes ever again.
The hero of his most famous work spends his time riding about the countryside accompanied by his ward, Sancho Panza, and looking for knightly tasks.
His father, Rodrigo, was both a barber and a surgeon, and his mother was sold into matrimony by her impoverished father in 1543. He grew up with six siblings. In 1584, he married Catalina de Salazar y Palacios and he had a daughter named Isabel de Saavedra.