Francisco de Quevedo – Biography of Francisco de Quevedo

The writer Francisco Gómez de Quevedo Villegas y Santibáñez Ceballos was born on September 14, 1580 in Madrid. He is known by the name of Francisco de Quevedo.

He was born into a family of Cantabrian descent, made up of noblemen. His father, Pedro Gómez de Quevedo, was the secretary of María de Austria, sister of King Felipe II, and his mother, María de Santibález, the queen’s lady, so his childhood was spent at Court.

When he was 6 years old, his father died, and when he was 11 his brother Pedro also died. Later, he studied languages, both ancient and modern, as well as Theology, which he studied in Alcalá, although he was never ordained.

Soon they begin to circulate through the court, at the time when it had established itself in Valladolid, poems by Quevedo, under the pseudonym Miguel de Musa. In these poems he imitates Góngora, so he attacks him with a series of poems in response. This was the beginning of a great enmity between the two.

Quevedo stood out for his high cultural level, and was involved in most of the intrigues of his time. At the beginning of the seventeenth century he began to write prose. From that time are “The life of the Buscón“Or”Letters”.

From 1606 to 1611 he resides again at the Court, publishing other works such as “Castilian Jeremiah Tears“,” Spain defended “,”Speech of privileges“,” Human and divine rhymes “or”The Perinola”, Among many others, most of them satirical.

In 1613 he traveled to Italy, as secretary of Pedro Téllez-Girón, Grand Duke of Osuna. On his return to Madrid, he seeks a rapprochement with the Duke of Lerma with the aim of getting the Duke of Osuna to be appointed Viceroy of Naples. In 1616 he achieves his goal. This same year he was named Knight of Santiago.

However, the Duke of Osuna falls from grace in 1620, dragging Quevedo in his fall, who is exiled to the Torre de Abad, owned by the writer, in the province of Ciudad Real. In this secluded place is where Quevedo writes his best poems, among them “They are the towers of Joray …” or “Retired to the peace of these deserts …”. There he is also dedicated to writing some political treatises.

Upon reaching the throne Felipe IV lifts the punishment of Quevedo, who returns to his intrigues supporting the Count-Duke of Olivares, although with a very dissipated life, frequenting taverns and drinking excessively. Despite this, a large number of his works come from this time, such as “The cradle and the grave”, “Four ghosts“,” Militant virtue “,”Of the remedies of any fortune“Or” The introduction to the devout life of Francisco de Sales “, among others.

In 1639, with the fall of the Count-Duke of Olivares, Quevedo was arrested again and locked up in the Monastery of San Marcos, in the province of León, where he dedicated himself mainly to reading.

In 1643 he is released from his confinement, but he is old and ill, and decides to retire to the Tower of Juan Abad.

On September 8, 1645, Francisco de Quevedo died in the town of Villanueva de los Infantes, in the Ciudad Rea family.He, while he was in the convent of the Dominican Fathers.