Lope de Vega (1562-1635)

Death: 27th August 1635
Location: Iglesia de San Sebastián, Madrid, Spain
Cause of Death: Scarlet Fever
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Spanish playwright and poet. His reputation is second only to that of Cervantes, but the volume of his work is unequaled: he is estimated to have written between 1,500 and 2,500 plays – around 425 have survived. Most of his plays revolve around the conflicting claims of love and honour. 
Aged five, he could read Latin, as well as Spanish, and had begun composing poetry. At fourteen, he ran off and joined a military expedition against Portugal. Fortunately, the Bishop of Avila took him under his wing. Under the Influence of the Bishop, Lope enrolled at the University of Alcalá and graduated with a bachelor's degree. He went to Madrid where he fell in love with a married woman, the daughter of the producer who bought his plays. The affair lasted for five years. Lope then eloped with Isabel de Urbina, the daughter of a prominent courtier. In 1588, he left Isabel and joined the Spanish Armada. Fortunately his ship, the San Juan, was one of the few to return safely. After returning he set about the business of making a living in the theatre. He still found time to carry on his love affairs including actress Micaela de Luján who would provide him with four children and inspire many sonnets. In 1614, Lope became a priest. However, he continued to write and he continued to carry on his affairs, notably with a young married woman named Doña Marta.