Don Quixote (Everyman's Library Classics Series) (Hardcover)

Don Quixote (Everyman's Library Classics Series) Cover Image
By Miguel de Cervantes, P. A. Motteux (Translated by), A. J. Close (Introduction by)
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Our ceaseless human quest for something larger than ourselves has never been represented with more insight and love than in this story of Don Quixote–pursuing his vision of glory in a mercantile age–and his shrewd, skeptical manservant, Sancho Panza. As they set out to right the world’s wrongs in knightly combat, the narrative moves from philosophical speculation to broad comedy, taking in pastoral, farce, and fantasy on the way. The first and still the greatest of all European novels, Don Quixote has been as important for the modern world as the poems of Homer were for the ancients.

Translated by P. A. Motteux

About the Author

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616) was born to a poor family in the town of Alcalá de Henares in Spain. After being educated in Madrid (where he was his schoolmaster's 'most beloved pupil') he went to Italy where it was not long before he volunteered for the army. Cervantes took part in the great naval battle of Lepanto (1571), when the Christian powers led by the Venetians defeated the Turks in the eastern Mediterranean. As a result he was wounded in the left hand which rendered it useless and earned him the title 'El Manco de Lepanto'. In 1575, while returning to Spain from another military expedition, he was captured by pirates and taken to Algiers as a prisoner. His captivity lasted for five long years during which he made repeated efforts to escape, firmly believing that 'one should risk one's life for honour and liberty'. When Cervantes was finally ransomed he returned to Spain, not to a hero's welcome as he expected, but to find himself with no money and apparently no future. He turned to writing for his livelihood, drawing on his experiences in prison and as a soldier for his stories and plays. His early works brought neither wealth nor fame but when the first part of Don Quixote was published in 1605 it proved to be an instant success. Translated into English in 1612 it has been one of the world's most popular and influential books ever since. Even with this, however, and the second part which was published in 1614, Cervantes did not become a rich man, but he did obtain for himself a patron and was thereafter able to devote himself fully to his writings.

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616) nació en el seno de una familia pobre en el pueblo de Alcalá de Henares, en España. Tras ser educado en Madrid (donde fue el pupilo preferido de su profesor) partió a Italia, donde pronto se enlistó de manera voluntaria en la armada. Cervantes participó en la gran batalla naval de Lepanto (1571), cuando los Cristianos lidereados por los venecianos derrotaron a los turcos al este del Mediterráneo. Esta batalla le dejó una mano herida que nunca recuperó total movilidad, por lo que Cervantes obtuvo el mote de 'El Manco de Lepanto'. En 1575, al volver a España tras otra expedición militar, fue capturado por piratas y llevado a Algeria como prisionero. Permaneció en cautiverio durante cinco largos años, tiempo en el que intentó escapar varias veces con la ferviente creencia de que "uno debiera arriesgar la vida por el honor y la libertad". Cuando finalmente fue rescatado, Cervantes volvió a España no como para ser recibido como hèroe, sino a enfrentarse a una vida sin dinero y, aparentemente, sin futuro. Se volcó a la escritura para poder sobrevivir, convirtiendo sus experiencias en el ejército y prisión en relatos y obras de teatro. Sus primeras obras no le trajeron fama ni fortuna, pero cuando la primera parte de Don Quijote fue publicada en 1605, obtuvo un éxito inmediato. Traducida al inglés en 1612, el Quijote ha sido uno de los libros más populares e icnónicos en el mundo. A pesar del èxito, y de la publicación de la segunda parte de la novela en 1614, Cervantes no se convirtió en un hombre rico, pero sí logró conseguir un mecenas que le permitó dedicar su vida a la escritura.

Praise For…

“A more profound and powerful work than this is not to be met with…[It is] the final and greatest utterance of the human mind.” –Fyodor Dostoevsky

“It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote.” –Lionel Trilling

“[Don Quixote is] the first and best of all novels, which nevertheless is more than a novel.” –Harold Bloom

“When Don Quixote went out into the world, that world turned into a mystery before his eyes. That is the legacy of the first European novel to the entire subsequent history of the novel. The novelist teaches its reader to
comprehend the world as a question.” –Milan Kundera

Product Details
ISBN: 9780679407584
ISBN-10: 0679407588
Publisher: Everyman's Library
Publication Date: October 15th, 1991
Pages: 1112
Language: English
Series: Everyman's Library Classics Series