Miguel de Cervantes, the writer of one of the world’s most outstanding literary works, Don Quixote, died on 22nd April 1616 in Madrid, Spain and was buried in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians. Before we tell you about what happened after he was laid to rest, here then a synopsis of this great figure.
A boy was born on the 29th of September 1547 that started to read books ardently at a very young stage. Nothing spectacular happened in his early life, but a certain phase in his life played a major role to get the giant Cervantes to present the world with ‘the first modern book’. He worked as an agent for the Spanish Armada in the late 1580’s. It was a thankless job, despised job, which involved collecting grain supplies from rural communities. When many people did not want to provide the required goods, Cervantes was charged with mismanagement and ended up in prison. The Crown Jail of Seville. However, it was during this trying time that he began to write some of literature’s greatest masterpieces. His sensitive psychological make up, the unfolding of banality all around him, and he having to take part in it, enslaved by it, lead him to protest in writing. The first part of Don Quixote was published in 1605, a novel that tells the story of an elderly man, a dreamer, who becomes so enamoured by the old stories of brave knights that he seeks out his own adventures. The title character soon gets lost in his own fantasy world, believing he is one of these knights, and convinces a poor peasant, Sancho Panza, to serve as his squire. In one scene, the deluded Don Quixote even fights a windmill, mistaking it for a giant. Quixote finally regains his senses before the novel ends. The second part of Don Quixote was published in 1615. Centuries later a film was made, Man of La Mancha, and the mesmerizing Peter O’ Toole played Don Quixote to perfection. The phrase from a song in the movie, To dream the Impossible Dream, will forever resonate in one’s ears. Cervantes died in 1616 and they buried the giant in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarian. There he laid, until in 1673 renovations took place at the convent and his remains was transferred. And lost. A live Cervantes would have found it amusing. Lost, until 2015. Scientists then succeeded to establish that his remains were enmeshed with others, his wife’s, and other acquaintances. Now, his remains are back in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarian in Madrid. For us to do a pilgrimage to the tomb of Miguel de Cervantes. To honour a giant of literature.