Lope de Vega, Spanish playwright

Lope de Vega, Spanish playwright

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Caption: Lope de Vega (1562-1635), Spanish playwright. Also known as Felix Lope de Vega Carpio. Lope's works, along with those of Cervantes, form a major part of Spanish literature. His phenomenal output included around 2,500 plays, of which 425 have survived. Born in Madrid, Lope was reading Spanish and Latin by the age of five. During an adventurous youth, including scandals and love affairs, periods of exile, and service in the army and navy, he lived in places such as Valencia and Toledo before returning to Madrid in 1595. Earlier, in 1588, he had sailed in the Spanish Armada on its failed invasion of England. In later life, his writings took on religious overtones, and in 1614 he joined the priesthood. His plays include El perro del hortelano (The Dog in the Manger) and La viuda de Valencia (The Widow from Valencia). 19th-century engraving.

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