“There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.": Second edition of the first English translation of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote

  • The History of The Valorous Witty-Knight-Errant Don-Quixote, Of the Mancha.
  • The History of The Valorous Witty-Knight-Errant Don-Quixote, Of the Mancha.
  • The History of The Valorous Witty-Knight-Errant Don-Quixote, Of the Mancha.

The History of The Valorous Witty-Knight-Errant Don-Quixote, Of the Mancha.

$10,000.00

Item Number: 96236

London: Printed by Richard Hodgkinsonne for Andrew Crooke, 1652.

Second edition of the first English translation of Cervantes’ masterpiece. Folio, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine in five compartments within raised gilt bands, quadruple gilt ruling with cornerpiece flourishes to the front and rear panels, woodcut devices to the titles, woodcut initials and headpieces. Translated from the original Spanish by Thomas Shelton, his first English translation published in 1612 was the first translation in any language, and took him only forty days to complete. The true first edition of Don Quixote appeared in two parts in 1605 and 1614. The first part of Shelton’s first English version was published in 1612; with the second part was added in 1620, both published in quarto. The present volume is the first single-volume Shelton edition, and is the first folio edition. In near fine condition. Period ownership inscription to the title page. An exceptional example, the nicest we have seen.

Often cited as the first modern novel, Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote remains not only the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age, but the most important work of the entire Spanish literary canon. The Shelton translation is generally considered the English translation that "realizes Cervantes' manner more nearly than any successor." (DNB). “It is interesting to realize that the first modern novel was composed by a sick, aged and impoverished man, who believed that a satirical tale might produce more revenue than the poems and plays that he regarded as his more serious mission. Under the guise of a parody on romances of chivalry, Cervantes created a study of reality and illusion, madness and sanity, that links him with such acute 16th-century students of psychology as Erasmus, Rabelais, Montaigne, and Shakespeare” (Folger’s Choice 30).

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