Interesting Literature

The most significant events in the history of books on the 25th of November

1562: Lope de Vega is born. A towering figure of Spanish Renaissance literature, he was a hugely prolific poet and playwright. Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, called Vega, his contemporary, a ‘monster of nature’, which sounds much like the seventeenth-century view of William Shakespeare as a writer endowed with natural gifts rather than one whose craft had been studiously learned. But Vega outdid even Shakespeare for his sheer volume of work. Shakespeare left behind 154 sonnets; Vega wrote over 3,000. Shakespeare wrote, or collaborated on, around forty plays. But around 1,800 plays have been attributed to Lope de Vega (of which 426 survive).

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