Writing factually of the life of Miguel Cervantes, Rafaello Busoni does much to explore the origins of what is considered by many to be the greatest of Western novels. Son of derelict nobility, Cervantes grew up in an atmosphere of pretense in which his mother, despite the drudgery of her life, presented to the world, the face of a leisured noblewoman. Cervantes short career as a soldier left him one-armed and unable to resume his military career. His subsequent capture by pirates led to his being sold as a slave to a wealthy Moslem and then to a Sultan who kept him within the Casbah for many years as a privileged slave and talisman. The exotic African beauty, the ludicrousness of his imprisonment, and the incredible fortune which spared his life at the hands of the ferocious Moslems gave further rise to Cervantes' curiosity as to the nature of the real. His consistent resolution to escape also emphasized his fundamental belief in the indomitable spirit of man. His return to Spain and his varied careers which led him about the country, a passionate love affair with a half mad but brilliant woman, and his strangely unreal marriage further supported his views of the world and fitted him to write the first novel which expressed the life, not of stilted fiction, but of real and infinitely more baffling characters. A sound historical and biographical work, The Man Who Was Don Quixote is written with reverence and appreciation of that phenomenal intelligence that made the battle against a windmill one of the most noteworthy encounters of literature.