Don Quixote is one of the most famous and influential examples of Spanish literature. Also known as The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, this work was written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in two parts, in the first half of the 17th century. Recounting the tale of a people whose spirit will not accept their destiny, it is justly considered a founding production of Western literature.
Don Quixote de la Mancha I and II Part
Written in Spanish, it tells the story of a character who, having lost common sense, decides to begin a journey in which he wants to bring justice into the world, under the name of Don Quixote de la Mancha. The work was produced at two different times, the first part was published in 1605, while the second part in 1615.
At the time of publishing, neither the author or the publisher, would have expected such success, taking them both by surprise. Unfortunately, Cervantes did not gain much of a financial reward, which has been recently calculated to have been around the sum of $1500.
The most Published and Translated Book after the Bible
By 1615 there were already 10 editions of the first part of the Don Quixote de la Mancha: three in Madrid (two in 1605 and 1608), two in Lisbon (1605), two in Valencia (1605), two in Brussels (1607 and 1611) and one in Milan (1610).
That same year, Cervantes rushed to finish the second part of the book as an author, who went by the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda, published an apocryphal version of Don Quixote.
The book has reached almost 3000 editions so far and, with over 60 million copies printed, it is considered the most published and translated book after the Bible.
Behind the binding of both parts there is the figure of Francis Bedford, which provided the two volumes with a red morocco binding featuring 5 bands on the spine.