The following is a biography of Michel de Nostredame, it is a excerpt from Erika Cheetham, "The Prophecies of Nostradamus".

Michel de Nostradame, more commonly known as Nostradamus, was born on 14th December 1503, in St. Remy de Provence. His parents were of simple lineage from around Avignon. Nostradamus was the oldest son, and had four brothers; of the first three we know little; the youngest, Jean, became Procureur of the Parliament of the Provence.
Nostradamus\' great intellect became apparent while he was still very young, and his education was put into the hands of his grandfather, Jean, who taught him the rudiments of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mathematics and Astrology.
When his grandfather died, Nostradamus was sent to Avignon to study. He already showed a great interest in astrology and it became common talk among his fellow students. He upheld the Copernican theory that the world was round and circled around the sun more than 100 years before Galileo was prosecuted for the same belief.
Since it was the age of the Inquisition and the family were converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith by the time Nostradamus was nine years old, his parents were quite worried, because as ex-Jews they were more vulnerable than most. So they sent him of to study medicine at Montpellier in 1522.
Nostradamus obtained his bachelor\'s degree after three years, with apparent ease, and once he had his license to practise medicine he decided to go out into the countryside and help the many victims of the plague.
After nearly four years he returned to Montpellier to complete his doctorate and re-enrolled on 23rd October 1529. Nostradamus had some trouble in explaining his unorthodox remedies and treatments he used in the countryside. Nevertheless his learning and ability could not be denied and he obtained his doctorate. He remained teaching at Montpellier for a year but by this time his new theories, for instance his refusal to bleed patients, were causing trouble and he set off upon another spate of wandering.
While practising in Toulouse he received a letter from Julius-Cesar Scaliger, the philosopher considered second only to Erasmus throughout Europe. Apparently Nostradamus\' reply so pleased Scaliger that he invited him to stay at his home in Agen. This life suited Nostradamus admirably, and circa 1534 he married a young girl \'of high estate, very beautiful and admirable\', whose name was lost to us. He had a son and a daughter by her and his life seemed complete.
Then a series of tragedies struck. The plague came to Agen and, despite all his efforts, killed Nostradamus\' wife and two children. The fact that he was unable to save his own family had a disastrous effect on his practice. The he quarrelled with Scaliger and lost his friendship. His late wife\'s family tried to sue him for the return of her dowry and as the final straw, in 1538, he was accused of heresy because of a chance remark made some years before. To a workman casting a bronze statue of the Virgin, Nostradamus had commented that he was making devils. His plea that he was only describing the lack of aesthetic appeal inherent int the statue was ignored and the Inquisitors sent for him to go to Toulouse.
Nostradamus, having no wish to stand trial, set out on his wandering again and kept well clear of the Church authorities for the next six years. We know little of this period. From references in later books we know he travelled in the Lorraine and went to Venice and Sicily. Legends about Nostradamus\' prophetic powers also start to appear at this time.
By 1554 Nostradamus had settled in Marseilles. In November that year, the Provence experienced one of the worst floods of its history. The plague redoubled in virulence, spread by the waters and the polluted corpses. Nostradamus worked ceaselessly.
Once the city had recovered, Nostradamus moved on to Salon, which he found so pleasant a town that he determined to settle there for the rest of his life. In November he married Anne Ponsart Gemelle, a rich widow. The house in which he spent the remainder of his days can still be seen off the Place de la Poissonnerie.
After 1550 he produced a yearly