London: Tho. Hodgkin (printer) Sold By John Newton, 1687. Full-Leather. Folio (11 5/8" x 7 1/2"). Item #6917
THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION IN ENGLISH; 616[i.e., 612]3; with errata at the end. Translated by John Phillips. With copper engraved frontispiece and 8 copper engraved plates, each with two illustrations. Contemporary paneled calf, expertly rebacked to style. The text is lightly toned, but overall, very good and clean. All edges are stained red. One plate with small loss to fore-edge, not affecting the illustrations; another plate with fore-edge trimmed, but not near the illustrations. Ggg3 with repaired tears; small ink smear on the Fourth Book title page. In all, a very good copy, complete and quite scarce as such. Don Quixote has stood the test of centuries; unquestionably, it stands as classic world literature. Cervantes brilliantly explores illusion and reality, as well as sanity and insanity. Let us quote Printing and the Mind of Man: "The first part of Don Quixote came out in 1605. What had begun as a simple satire on the tedious chivalric romances of the time broadened into a sweeping panorama of Spanish society; and it was this, the variety, the liveliness, and the gibes at the famous, which won it instant fame. The writing of the second part was stimulated by the publication of a spurious 'second part' in 1614; and it was an even greater success. There is less knockabout, and Cervantes had come to love and understand his two heroes, whom he had at first introduced to ridicule. He died on 23 April 1616, ironically, on the same day as Shakespeare." The last recorded sale of a complete first edition of Don Quixote, printed in Madrid in 1605/1615, occurred in 1989 and sold for $1.5 million.