Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcala de Henares, Spain, in 1547. In 1585, a few months after his marriage to Catalina de Salazar, he published his first major work as an author, the pastoral novel La Galatea which was poorly received. Cervantes became a tax collector in Granada in 1594, but was imprisoned in 1597 due to money problems with the government. Folklore maintains that while in prison, he wrote his most famous novel, Don Quixote, which was an immediate success upon publication in 1605. After several years of writing short novels and plays, Cervantes was spurred to write the sequel to Don Quixote in 1615 when an unauthorized sequel appeared to great acclaim. Though Cervantes' sequel was rushed and flawed, Don Quixote remains a powerful symbol that has endured to present times in many forms. Cervantes died on April 22, 1616, at the age of 69.
Michael Parenti (Ph.D., Yale University) is an internationally known, award-winning author, scholar, and lecturer who addresses a wide variety of political and cultural subjects. Among his recent books are Waiting for Yesterday (2013), The Face of Imperialism (2011), God and His Demons (2010), and Democracy for the Few, 9th edition (2010).Harold Bloom was born on July 11, 1930 in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell in 1951 and his Doctorate from Yale in 1955. After graduating from Yale, Bloom remained there as a teacher, and was made Sterling Professor of Humanities in 1983. Bloom's theories have changed the way that critics think of literary tradition and has also focused his attentions on history and the Bible. He has written over twenty books and edited countless others. He is one of the most famous critics in the world and considered an expert in many fields. In 2010 he became a founding patron of Ralston College, a new institution in Savannah, Georgia, that focuses on primary texts. His works include Fallen Angels, Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems, Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life and The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of The King James Bible.