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     Vega, Lope de (25th November 1562-27th August 1635)  

    He was a playwright and poet born Felix Lope de Vega y Carpio during the Baroque period in Madrid, Spain where the wage earner was Felix de Lope who was an embroiderer to trade.   By the time he was five he was able to read Latin and Spanish, by the time he as ten he could translate verses in Latin and his first play was written when he was twelve.  When he was 14 he entered the Colegio Imperial, but he ran away from there so that he could go to Portugal on a military expedition.  On his return the Bishop of Avila arranged his enrolment into the University of Alcala de Henares after he had noticed his abilities, and once he graduated his initial plans of entering the church changed after he fell in love.  He joined the military and fought with the Navy in the Azores.   Only after he left service did he return to Madrid and concentrate on writing plays, but after being turned away by a woman he had been having a lengthy affair with, he ended up with a jail sentence and an eight-year exile from Castile for libel.   While in exile he was forced to marry the 16 year old daughter of a court advisor to Philip II in 1588, which pushed him to re-enrol in the Spanish Navy again where he would be one of the lucky ones who made it home alive after he had seen action in the Spanish Armada's attack on England.  He moved to Valencia for the remainder of his exile and when he became secretary to the Duke of Alba he re-located to Toledo.  His wife died in 1595 and he returned to Madrid where he would carry on where he left off with love affairs, scandals and lawsuits, some of which are said to have been the inspiration for a series of sonnets.  He continued with his secretarial duties, but at the same time was in a particularly prolific period as well as at the beginning of a string of tragedies where he lost his wife and at least three of his children over a 20-year period.  In 1598 he wrote his first novel, Arcadia and in 1614 he joined the priesthood.  One of Spain's most acclaimed writers, and regarded as second only to Cervantes, he wrote around 2000 complete plays and numerous other poetic and dramatic works and his 1612 Christmas carol "Pastores a Belen" is one of Spain's most popular songs in the holiday period and is also heard on Leroy Anderson's Suite of Carols for String Orchestra.


    Pastores a Belen recordings

    Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra

    Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lope_de_Vega


    3.      http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/lopevega.htm

    4.      http://www.theatredatabase.com/17th_century/calderon_and_lope_de_vega.html





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