The Life and Exploits of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, by Charles Jarvis, Esq. Now Carefully Revised and Corrected; with a New Translation of the Spanish Poetry. To which is Prefixed a Copious and New Life of Cervantes. Embellished with Engravings, and a Map of Part of Spain. Engraved portrait, One folding map, nineteen engraved plates. Four volumes. London: Printed for William Miller, 1810. Contemporary full polished calf. Boards decorated with a wide elaborate gilt border of interlacing strapwork. Spine divided into six compartments by five gilt raised bands, title and volume number in gilt direct in the second and fourth, the remainder tooled in gilt with elaborate Maltese crosses in gilt with background decorated in blind; board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins with gilt floral roll; splash-marbled endpapers with matching marbled edges. Some light spotting, one joint with minor cracking otherwise a superb set.
COPAC locates 9 sets only. There are two ESTCs citations: [ESTC T59877 – seven names on last page of subscribers; ESTC N61306 with twelve names]. Our copy is a variant with twenty two names.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists. His major work, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes (“the language of Cervantes”). He has also been dubbed El príncipe de los ingenios (“The Prince of Wits”).
In 1569, in forced exile from Castile, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. In 1571, he decided to join the Spanish Navy, and participated in the battle of Lepanto, a major clash between the Catholic states and the Ottomans for the control of the Mediterranean. Following this, Cervantes’ military career was cut short when he was captured by Ottoman pirates and taken to Algiers, which had become one of the main and most cosmopolitan cities of the Ottoman Empire, and was held there for ransom between the years of 1575 and 1580. In 1580, after his captivity, he was released by his captors on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1605, he was in Valladolid when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signalled his return to the literary world. The second part of his great work was published in 1615.