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Francisco de Rojas y Zorrilla

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Spanish dramatic poet, b. at Toledo, 4 Oct., 1607; d. 1680. Authentic information regarding the events of his life is rather fragmentary, but he probably studied at the Universities of Toledo and Salamanca, and for a time followed a military career. When only twenty-five he was well known as a poet, for he is highly spoken of in Montalban's "Para todos" (1632), a fact which shows that he enjoyed popularity, when Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderon were in the height of their fame. The announcement published in 1638 of the assassination of Francisco de Rojas did not refer to the poet, for the first and second parts of his comedies, published by himself at Madrid, bear the dates of 1640 and 1645 respectively. A third part was promised but it never appeared. He was given the mantle of the Order of Santiago in 1644. The writings of Rojas consist of plays and autos sacramentales written alone and in collaboration with Calderon, Coello, Velez, Montalbán, and others. No complete edition of his plays is available, but Mesonero gives a very good selection with biographical notes. Among the best of them are "Del Rey abajo ninguno", "Entre bobos anda el juego", "Donde hay agravio no hay celos", and "Casarse por vengarse", the last of which is claimed to have been the basis of Le Sage's novel, "Gil Blas de Santillane".

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