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About the Author: Garcilaso de la Vega (poet)

Garcilaso de la Vega (Toledo, c. 1501– Le Muy, Nice, France, October 14, 1536), was a Spanish soldier and poet. The prototypical "Renaissance man," he was the most influential (though not the first or the only) poet to introduce Italian Renaissance verse forms, poetic techniques and themes to Spain. His exact birth date is unknown, but estimations by scholars put his year of birth between 1498 and 1503.

Garcilaso was born in the Spanish city of Toledo. His father, Pedro Suárez de Figueroa, was a noble in the royal court of the Catholic Kings. His mother's name was Sancha de Guzmán. He had six brothers and sisters: Leanor, Pedro, Fernando, Francisco, Gonzalo, and Juana. Garcilaso was the second-oldest son which meant he did not receive the mayorazgo (entitlement) to his father's estate. However, he spent his younger years receiving an extensive education, mastered five languages (Spanish, Greek, Latin, Italian and French), and learned how to play the zither, lute and the harp. After his schooling, he joined the military in hopes of joining the royal guard. He was named "contino" (imperial guard) of King Carlos I (also Carlos V of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1520, and he was made a member of the Order of Santiago in 1523.

There were a few women in the life of this poet. His first lover was Guiomar Carrillo with whom he had an illegitimate child. He had another suspected lover named Isabel Freire, who was a lady-in-waiting of Isabel of Portugal. In 1525, Garcilaso married Elena de Zúñiga who served as a lady-in-waiting for the King's favorite sister, Leonor. Their marriage took place in Garcilaso's hometown of Toledo in one of the family's estates. He had six children: Lorenzo, an illegitimate child with Guiomar Carrillo, Garcilaso, Íñigo de Zúñiga, Pedro de Guzmán, Sancha, and Francisco.

Garcilaso's military career meant that he took part in the numerous battles and campaigns conducted by Carlos V across Europe. His duties took him to Italy, Germany, Tunisia and France. In 1532 for a short period he was exiled to a Danube island where he was the guest of the Baron György Cseszneky, royal court judge of Győr. Later in France, he would fight his last battle. The King desired to take control of Marseille and eventually control of the Mediterranean Sea, but this goal was never realized. Garcilaso de la Vega died on October 14, 1536 in Nice, France after suffering 25 days from an injury sustained in a battle at Le Muy. His body was first buried in the Church of Santo Domingo in Nice, but two years later his wife had his body moved to the Church of San Pedro Martir in Toledo.

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Paperback, Published in May 2010 by Ediciones Castalia

ISBN10: | ISBN13: 9788497403092

Page count: 240

La producción poética de Garcilaso es relativamente breve y su gran aportación poética son las obras compuestas en estilo italianizante. Junto a sus sonetos, lo más notable de su escritura son las églogas y la poesía pastoril, con influencias de Virgilio y Sannazaro. La armonía de la poesía de Garcilaso, en la cual no encontramos resonancias bélicas –pese a su condición de militar y hombres de armas– ni religiosas, junto a su ritmo y belleza, la convierten en una de las grandes creaciones artísticas de todos los tiempos y que hoy en día conserva toda su vigencia.

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