Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) is regarded as the greatest Spanish writer of all time. Best known for Don Quixote, Cervantes is credited to have written the first modern novel. However, most of his fame was acquired posthumously. Cervantes lived most of his life in poverty, working various jobs, including enlisting as a soldier. As a soldier, Cervantes had to endure serious injuries and was even held as a prisoner of war before he retired. Much of Cervantes' best work was created within the last few years of his life, leaving a legacy of innovation and unparalleled talent.