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The ingenious knight Don Quixote of La Mancha

  • The ingenious knight Don Quixote of La Mancha. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    The ingenious knight Don Quixote of La Mancha. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España



Printed documents



Cultural background

Golden Age

Original title

El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha
Spanish National Library

First edition of the book. It serves as an example, from a typographical point of view, of the low quality of Spanish printing centuries ago.

The cover and the four preliminary pages are missing. They were replaced with photolithographic copies from the copy belonging to the Spanish Royal Academy, made by López Fabra.

Because of the situation of Spanish printing when it was published and because it was printed over such a short period of time, there were many typos and spelling mistakes. However, the publication was so successful that Francisco de Robles had to prepare a second edition in which the many mistakes were corrected. We can see that Cervantes himself corrected some of them, like the one in the chapter about the theft of Sancho's donkey. This makes this edition very valuable, although it has not always been considered by the critics.

The displayed edition was identified as the actual first edition in 1829 by Vicente Salvá. Until then it had been considered the second.


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