Miguel de Cervantes

We can imagine the young Cervantes, inspired by the chivalric romances of the late Middle Ages and crippled by his father’s financial tribulations, longing to ride out into a world of pure purpose and high ideals. We can envisage him as a young man in Italy, the Italy that still bore the after-image of Dante and Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Rome that still housed the ghosts of Cicero and Catullus and Julius Caesar, thirstily imbibing the ideals of the early Renaissance, with its heady mixture of Ancient and Modern, the sensual and the intellectual, the spiritual and the political.

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