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The canonical Spanish classic, now in a beautiful hardcover edition designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith
Don Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote's fancy often leads him astray--he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants--Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers' imaginations for nearly four hundred years.
With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. This Penguin Classics edition includes John Rutherford's masterly translation, which does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes's prose.
About the Author
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Spain in 1547 to a family once proud and influential but now fallen on hard times. Educated as a child by the Jesuits in Seville, the creator of Don Quixote grew up to follow the career of a professional soldier. On his return to Spain he found his family more impoverished than ever before. Supporting his mother, two sisters, and an illegitimate daughter, he settled down to a literary career and had hopes of becoming a successful playwright, just as Lope de Vega entered triumphantly to transform the Spanish theatre by his genius. Although he never knew prosperity, Cervantes did gain a measure of fame during his lifetime, and Don Quixote and Sancho Panza were known all over the world. Part I of Don Quixote was published in 1605; in 1613, his Exemplary Novels appeared, and these picaresque tales of romantic adventure gained immediate popularity. Journey to Parnassas, a satirical review of his fellow Spanish poets, appeared in 1614, and Part II of Don Quixote in 1615. Miguel de Cervantes died on April 23, 1616, the same day as the death of Shakespeare--his English contemporary, his only peer.
John Rutherford is a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford, where he teaches Spanish, Spanish-American and Galician language and literature. He has also translated La Regenta, by Leopoldo Alas and (with others) "Them" and Other Stories, by Xosé Luis Méndez Ferrin. This edition of Don Quixote won the 2002 Primio Valle Inclán prize for translation from Spanish.