Don Quixote The story follows the adventures of a hidalgo named Mr. Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. It had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario". Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Wilhelm Meister.
A beautiful, unabridged edition of the world's first novel.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcala de Henares, Spain, in 1547. Little is known of his early life, other than that he was one of seven children and grew up in poverty. The course of his adulthood is fascinating; at various stages he was a fugitive, a soldier, a tax collector, held captive by pirates, sold as a slave, and imprisoned by the Spanish government. He finally settled into a more sedate life in Madrid shortly after the publication of the first part of his masterpiece, Don Quixote, in 1605. The second part was published in 1615, and Cervantes' literary output continued until his death in April 1616.