Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Spain in 1547 to a poor family. Though he wrote other books and plays, he is, of course, best known for his epic novel, Don Quixote, published in 1605. Cervantes is believed to have been an ardent Catholic and defender of the faith. In many ways he identified with his famous protagonist, Don Quixote, having been a soldier himself, perhaps even fashioning himself a knight-errant of sorts. After spending several years in a war prison, he would work as a tax collector and finally as a writer to pay off his debts. His work would win him international repute, and Cervantes would go on to write a second part to the book in 1615. The "Spanish Shakespeare" died in April of 1616.