History of Don Quixote

CERVANTES   |   Gustave DORE

Item#: 123494 We're sorry, this item has been sold

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"A TEXT CALCULATED TO TEST EVEN DORÉ": GUSTAVE DORÉ'S MONUMENTAL DON QUIXOTE

(DORÉ, Gustave) CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de. The History of Don Quixote. London and New York: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, circa 1870. Thick folio (10 by 12-1/2 inches), 20th-century three-quarter crimson morocco, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

Early edition in English of the renowned Doré-illustrated edition of Cervantes' masterpiece, with 118 full-page wood-engravings and 246 head- and tail-pieces by Gustave Doré, engraved in the wood by Héliodore Pisan, attractively bound.

First published 1605-15, Don Quixote stands as "one of those universal works which are read by all ages at all times, and there are very few who have not at one time or another felt themselves to be Don Quixote confronting the windmills" (PMM 111). "One can hardly deny that [Gustave Doré] is not merely one of the most popular but also one of the greatest of all illustrators… Don Quixote was a text calculated to test even Doré. He was matching himself against Coypel and Tony Johannot, not to mention the Spanish illustrators of the great Ibarra edition published in Madrid in 1780. He met the challenge superbly… At first he intended only 40 designs, but Cervantes' book captured his imagination, and he arranged for a major work… Don Quixote and Sancho Panza reached their definitive rendering in Doré's designs" (Ray, 328-29, 337). Doré's Don Quixote was first published in French as a two-volume folio in 1863. The English-language edition first appeared in 30 monthly parts, beginning in December 1864. In September of 1866 Cassell announced its publication in book form. "In those two and a half years, Doré went from being virtually unknown in England to being the most famous illustrator in the world" (Malan, 67). Beginning in 1868 Cassell reduced the size of the text block from 10 by 13 inches to 10 by 12-1/2 inches (the size of this copy). Title page printed in red and black. Malan, 65-69, 255. Ray 248. Owner signature, dated 1916.

Foxing to blank flyleaves only, text and plates generally clean, with only the occasional smudge; binding attractive and near-fine.

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