A fictionized biography of Cervantes for both boys and girls, thrills for the former in escapes from the Barbary Pirates and in the Battle of Lepanto, while the latter will be fascinated by the descriptions of page-boy life in the Vatican and torn by the trials of extreme poverty. ""The poorest of the poor, greatest of the great"" suffered untold hardships from the earliest days in Madrid when his family was dispossessed, until his tragic death. He hoped to find happiness in his marriage to Catalina and in writing his plays in rivalry with Lope de Vega. When home from the wars he became a collector of wheat and oil for the King in a uniform suit of velvet, hence the title. Due to miscalculations he was accused of mishandling funds and clapped into prison. There he ripped off his great literary classic beginning ""In a village of La Mancha"".