For 300 years, Carlo Gesualdo was considered an amateur composer. It was thought that his innovative use of chromatic voice leading and harmony wasn't a conscious decision, but rather the result of poor education and composition technique. He was seen as a leisurely type who amused himself by writing music in his spare time.
On the contrary, Gesualdo did not care much about anything but music. Historians paint us a picture of a man "lost in music, since he talks of it and nothing else". Gesualdo was obsessed. And thoroughly unhappy. There's much to suggest that he didn't know how to be around people. That he was found to be awkward and suffocating. Indeed, Gesualdo eventually locked himself into his castle in southern Italy. Here, the composer published two books of madrigals before his death, which were kept secret and meant for his court only.