I want to know everything

Francisco de Quevedo


In addition to sonnets such as the ones above, which were published in the volume Los sueños (Dreams), Quevedo is also particularly remembered today for his novel Historia de la vida del Buscón llamado don Pablos (The Life Story of the Sharper, called Don Pablos) which is now considered one of the earliest examples of the picaresque-or satirical-novel that realistically and humorously depicted the seedy underside of Spanish city life. The novel is considered to be a precursor for the satirical novels of industrial life that would emerge in later centuries, such as the works of Charles Dickens, Honore de Balzac, and Jonathan Swift.

Late in his life, in 1641, Quevedo, still feeling the sting of Osuna's failure, attempted to vindicate the former duke. Quevedo prepared an anonymous poem that materialized under King Philip IV's napkin at breakfast, blasting the policies of Philip's all-powerful favorite, Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel, Count-Duke of Olivares. Quevedo's famous wit, however, was impossible to disguise, and this act landed the poet under house arrest that lasted until Olivares' fall in 1643. He died two years later, his health having suffered significantly for the worse during his imprisonment. He is remembered by many as one of the greatest talents in the greatest age of Spanish literature.


Picaresque novel

  • Historia de la vida del Buscón llamado don Pablos (“The Life Story of the Sharper, called Don Pablos,” 1626; there are several early English translations)


  • Los sueños (“Dreams”) (1627)
  • La cuna y la sepultura (“The Crib and the Grave”) (1635)
  • La culta latiniparla ("The Latin-prattling blue-stocking," mocking a female culteranist, 1631)

Against Luis de Góngora and Culteranismo:

  • Aguja de navegar cultos ("A Compass-needle to navigate culteranos'")

Political works

  • Política de Dios, gobierno de Cristo ("The Polity of God and Government of Christ") (1626)
  • Vida de Marco Bruto (“The Life of Marcus Brutus”) (1632-1644)
  • Execración contra los judíos ("Execration Against the Jews") (1633)


  • "Life of St. Thomas of Villanova