The Marquess of Santillana, or also known as Íñigo López de Mendoza, was born in Carrión de los Condes (Palencia) on 19 August 1398, and he died in Guadalajara on 25 March 1458. He was a Spanish military man and poet of the Prerenaissance.
He was from a noble Basque family that was always interested in the branch of the letters. His grandfather and his father were also poets, and his children continued with this interest for the literature. His father died when he was only five years, so he had to be raised by his uncle, the future Archbishop of Toledo.
With the age of 14 years, he got married in Salamanca to Catalina Suárez de Figueroa, daughter of a wealthy master. Thanks to his alliance, his wealth increased very much, transforming him into one of the most powerful nobles of his time.
Later, he went to Aragon, where he was cupbearer of the new king Alfonso V of Aragon. He was studied literature in the Aragonese court, where he also became friends with the Infants of Aragon. He returned to Castilla and he took part in the war between Enrique of Aragon and Álvaro de Luna, supported the first one. After Sir Enrique's imprisonment, he returned to his possessions.
In the Olmedo's first battle, he was in the ranks of the royal army, so the King granted him the title of Marquess of Santillana. His last great appearance takes place in the campaign against the kingdom nazari of Granada of 1455, already under the kingdom of Enrique IV of Castilla.
In the literary world, he was the first historian of Spanish literature. He is specially remembered for his serranillas, poems of minor art which deal with the meeting between a gentleman and a peasant. He was the first author who wrote sonnets in Spanish. His works more known in the poetry are: Serranillas, Canciones y decires líricos, Sonetos, Triunphete de Amor, El infierno de los enamorados, Comedieta de Ponça and Bías contra Fortuna. His best prose are: Lamentaçión de Spaña, el Proemio, Glosas a los Proverbios and Refranes que dicen las viejas tras el fuego.
He died in his palace in Guadalajara on 25 March 1458.