Neither much is known about his youth maybe he

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Neither much is known about his youth. Maybe he studied in some school in Valladolid and also in Seville. It is possible that he left his studies to do military service in Flanders. Around 1569 he joined the army and was defected to Italy. He participated in the naval battle of Lepanto, where he received three shots and because of this he lost the use of his left hand, and was known by the nickname "the one-armed of Lepanto." In September 1575, Cervantes traveled to Spain, and carried letters of illustrious Spanish characters. His ship was attacked by troops from Algeria, and Cervantes was imprisoned because they thought he should be a person of great social standing, and they asked for a ransom to free him. Finally and after five years in prison, Cervantes was released. Upon his arrival in Spain, Cervantes had no money or work, and he signed up again in the army. He participated in the campaign of the Azores Islands, Portuguese territory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Surely there he wrote La Galatea and, probably, the first part of Persiles and Segismunda. As he was a manco, Miguel did not expect to ascend in the army, so he decided to try his luck in literature, and published La Galatea in 1585. He gained some fame but little money. Cervantes married Catalina Palacios Salazar and Vozmediano, a woman 18 years younger than him. The necessity forced Cervantes to look for a job, and in 1588 he was named responsible for the purchase of groceries for the Invincible Armada. He had problems with this job, and was imprisoned at least twice. These experiences justify the legend that Don Quixote was written in jail. At the death of his father, he had to take care of his two sisters, a niece and their maid, in addition to his wife and daughter. He was one man among so many women. His sisters did not enjoy a very good reputation and they were accused of receiving dabbles at all hours "both day and night". Cervantes learned to know and respect female freedom within his own family (this feature is shown, for example in Don Quixote, where the figure of women is presented in a very respectful and modern for that time). In May of 1590, he asked the King to grant him a position in the Indies (America). His luck was not better in literature. Cervantes had already turned 50 when he wrote El Quijote, which is considered the first modern novel. With this work, Cervantes became famous overnight, but his economic difficulties continued. In 1605 he was accused of participating in a fight where he stabbed someone, and he and his family were imprisoned for more than a week. The rumors were that the writer lived hidden for the next three years since nobody knew where he was during this time From 1609 to 1616 when he died, Cervantes lived in Madrid. These last years in Madrid formed the period of his literary activity, with the publication of his twelve exemplary novels and also the burlesque poem Viaje del Parnaso.
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