220 Notes

Obit of the Day: Dead Together

April 23, 1616

Miguel de Cervantes - The author of Don Quixote wrote a total of five novels between 1585 and 1616. (His final novel Persiles was published posthumously.) Cervantes is considered the father of the modern European novel and is considered as influential on the Spanish language as his partner in death is on the English language. Interesting fact: Cervantes and his brother, Roderigo, were captured by Barbary pirates in 1575 and lived in slavery for five years.

William Shakespeare - Outside of the King James Bible, no one has added more to English idiom than William Shakespeare. Interesting fact: The plays performed during the time Don Quixote was published were Measure for MeasureOthelloKing Lear, and Macbeth.

Random note 1: April 23 is International Day of the Book in honor of the passing of Cervantes and Shakespeare by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). 

Random Note 2: Although the men both died on April 23, 1616, Miguel de Cervantes died eleven days before William Shakespeare. Spain, a Catholic country, had converted to the Gregorian calendar (introduced by Pope Gregory XIII) in September 1582. The solar calendar was much more accurate than the Julian calendar (named for Julius Caesar who introduced it to the Romans), a lunar calendar. However, England did not convert to the Gregorian system until 1752. And you think time zones are confusing.

Sources: www.shakespeare-online.com, manoflabook.com, and Wikipedia

Images:

Left, Portrait of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra commonly said to be that which, according to the prologue to Cervantes’ Exemplary Novels was painted by Juan de Jáuregui. Scholars do not believe there are any portraits of Cervantes from his lifetime.

Right, This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait’ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. Dated to 1610 the artist may have been John Taylor a member of the London Painters’-Stainers’ Company.

Courtesy of Wikimedia

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