"The housekeeper agreed, so great was the desire of the two women to see the death of those innocents; but the priest was not in favor of doing that without even reading the titles first" (Cervantes, Don Quixote I.VI, p. 46).
Miguel de Cervantes was born in 1547 in Alcalá de Henares, a little town outside of Madrid. His father was a surgeon and his mother is thought to have been of Jewish descent. Little is known about his early years. Following a brief period of study in Madrid, where he published a few short works of poetry, and a short-lived sojourn to Rome, he enlisted in the army of the Holy league, established by the Catholic kingdoms of Europe in response to the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.