Espinel, Vicente Martínez

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Vicente Martínez Espinel (vēthān´tā märtē´nāth āspēnĕl´), 1550–1624, Spanish writer, musician, and adventurer. Espinel was notorious for his dissolute life, which his holy vows, taken in 1589, did little to change. An accomplished guitarist, he helped make the instrument popular and is sometimes credited with adding its fifth string. Espinel's Rimas (1591) introduced the decima, or espinela, a new poetic form of 10 eight-syllable lines rhyming abbaaccdde. Espinel is best known for his picaresque, semiautobiographical novel Vida del escudero Marcos de Obregón [the life of Squire Marcos de Obregón] (1618), from which Le Sage adapted episodes and characters for Gil Blas.