This is a complete four-volume set of Don Quixote De La Mancha in Spanish from 1738,
and it represents a significant landmark in the printing history of Cervantes' Don Quixote: the first deluxe edition of the novel, and the first edition in Spanish published in England.
The title in Spanish is Vida y Hechos del Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. Compuesta por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. En Quatro Tomos, En Londres: Por J. y R. Tonson, 1738, which means The Life And Adventures Of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha, composed by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in four volumes, published by J. and R. Tonson in 1738. Hechos can mean facts, and here we believe it refers to the exploits or adventures of Don Quixote.
The set is a large quarto profusely illustrated with 69 copperplate engravings, including the first ever portrait of Cervantes and an allegorical frontispiece. The portrait was painted by William Kent and engraved by George Vertue, John Vanderbank designed 66 of the plates and William Hogarth created one and part of another. The engravers were Gerard Vandergucht, Bernard Baron and Claude du Bosc for the other plates,
and since there was no known painting or drawing of Cervantes at the time, Kent composed one by following Cervantes' detailed self-description included in the preface to his Novelas Exemplares.
All four volumes have five raised bands, gilt titles on burgundy labels, six compartments and gilt tooling on the spines, geometric borders in gilt on dark blue boards, marbled endpapers with gilt dentelles, and the bookplate of William Adair Esq. on the rear endpapers of each book.
Volume I has an allegorical frontispiece followed by the title page, four pages addressed to the Contessa Montijo, who used to be the ambassador at the court of Great Britain, then three pages of advice from John Oldfield (D. Juan Oldfield), three pages from Lord Carteret ((Don Juan Baron de Carteret), who sponsored the printing of the novel, 103 pages about the life of Cervantes by Mayans Isiscar, a nine-page prologue (Prologo), some poetry and sonnets about Don Quixote, four pages of the chapter titles (Tabla de los Capitulos), and 296 pages of text. Volume II has 368 pages of text, Volume III has 311 pages of text, and the last volume has 333 pages of text.
Prior to this London edition of 1738, the quality of the letterpress and the engravings contrasted strongly with the low printing standards of many of the seventeenth-century editions. Through the backing of John Carteret, the second Earl of Granville, the text finally received the treatment reserved for works that were considered classics. The printing was commissioned to the heirs of a famous dynasty of English publishers, Jacob and Richard Tonson were the sons of Jacob Tonson the younger, who was the nephew of Jacob Tonson, the exclusive publisher of John Dryden.
Many readers viewed the novel as a burlesque piece, a parody about chivalry as well as an example of popular humor. With Lord Carteret’s sponsorship, people started to see the satirical and moralizing aspect of the novel, and it conveyed a sense of the righteousness of Christianity in Spain. The quality of the illustrations told the same story - the triumph of one religion over another. That is why this is called the Carteret edition.
Hogarth probably dropped out because he disagreed with William Kent, the painter
who designed the portrait of Cervantes - Hogarth’s vision of art differed from the artistic sense presented in the Carteret edition. Hogarth believed that art should be a detailed imitation of life, and many of the illustrations in the Carteret version were allegorical and strove for a much higher purpose.
The four volumes are 4 to. and measure 11 5/8 x 9 1/2. wide, with wear at the crowns, heels and edges of the spines, and at the tips. There is browning on the plates and some of the text, and the set is still desirable because it is a first deluxe edition of the novel and the first edition to be published in Spanish in England.
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How many volumes is Don Quixote? ›
Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon.How much is Don Quixote 1780 book worth? ›
It is a masterpiece of printing and design. Adjusting for inflation Corso paid around $6000 or £4900. Copies can be acquired today for around £17000. He was to sell his quickly to a collector with only a small percentage for his dealer friend, so he would have made a minimum of over £10000 ($12500).What are the four themes of Don Quixote? ›
- Truth and Lies. At the heart of Quixote's disagreement with the world around him is the question of truth in chivalry books. ...
- Literature, Realism, and Idealism. ...
- Madness and Sanity. ...
- Intention and Consequence. ...
- Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change.
Definition of 'Don Quixote'
1. a satirical novel by Cervantes, published in two parts (1605, 1615) 2. the hero of this novel, who tries in a chivalrous but unrealistic way to rescue the oppressed and fight evil. Word List.
One must live life in a genuine way, passionately, in spite of what other people think. That is the central tenet of "Don Quixote," according to Professor Ilan Stavans.What is the main point of Don Quixote? ›
While many interpretations of the story exist, Don Quixote is often thought to explore the balance between reality and imagination, realism and idealism, and humankind's grappling with the inevitable end of death.What did Don Quixote represent? ›
The character of Quixote became an archetype, and the word quixotic, used to mean the impractical pursuit of idealistic goals, entered common usage.Is Don Quixote hard to read? ›
GAZETTE: Despite all the wonderful things about it, “Don Quixote” is a very hard book to read.What is Don Quixote about quick summary? ›
Don Quixote is a middle-aged gentleman from the region of La Mancha in central Spain. Obsessed with the chivalrous ideals touted in books he has read, he decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked.What is the summary of the story of Don Quixote? ›
The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, an hidalgo from La Mancha named Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he either loses or pretends to have lost his mind in order to become a knight-errant (caballero andante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation, under ...
What is ironic about Don Quixote? ›
Ironic. From the beginning, it is clear that Miguel de Cervantes thinks that Don Quixote's efforts to be a knight are foolish. He tells us early on, in fact, that his title character "unluckily stumbled upon the oddest fancy that ever entered into a madman's brain," which is to become a wandering knight (1.1. 1.8).Is Don Quixote Based on a true story? ›
Don Quixote is not a true story. Some of the confusion surrounding the novel as fiction or non-fiction stems from the real places and real historical figures with whom Don Quixote interacts. Further, Cervantes called his novel "a history," which also adds to this confusion.How long is the novel Don Quixote? ›
1072 pages including prologue and end notes etc.Is Don Quixote two books? ›
He published Don Quixote in two parts between 1605 and 1615; both are included in this large-format volume.Is Don Quixote a long book? ›
Of course, it is more than 1,000 pages long, not to mention being very old.Is Don Quixote a difficult read? ›
GAZETTE: Despite all the wonderful things about it, “Don Quixote” is a very hard book to read.What grade level is Don Quixote? ›
|Interest Level||Grade 7 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 12|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Brand||First Avenue Classics ™|
The average reader will spend 16 hours and 32 minutes reading this book at 250 WPM (words per minute). How quickly can you read this book?