SMOLLETT'S IMPORTANT TRANSLATION OF DON QUIXOTE, 1755 FIRST EDITION, ILLUSTRATED BY FRANCIS HAYMAN
CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de (SMOLLETT, Tobias, translator). The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote. London: A. Millar, T. Osborn, et al., 1755. Two volumes. Quarto, contemporary full brown calf neatly rebacked, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, brown and tan morocco spine labels. $4200.
First edition of the important Smollett translation of Don Quixote, featuring 28 fine copper-engraved illustrations by Francis Hayman, "the most proficient English illustrator of his time," distinguished in contemporary calf boards.
"Tobias Smollett's translation of Don Quixote for the 1755 edition… contributed much to the reappraisal later in the century of Cervantes as a patriot, a soldier and a model of chivalry himself" (Harthan, 153). "It is historically important, for it is one of the principal versions in which Cervantes' novel was known to several generations of English and American readers" (Thomas Hart). Its illustrator, Francis Hayman "was the most proficient English illustrator of his time, and this is his best book" (Ray, 5). The illustrations are "a surprisingly original series… Without downplaying Quixote and Sancho Panza, they bring to life individuals in the large supporting cast who have been totally ignored by other illustrators" (Hodnett, 76-80). "Luxurious edition, impeccably printed, and on excellent paper" (Escudero 1166). Often lauded as the first modern novel, Don Quixote was first published in two parts, 1605 and 1615. Iconografía de las Ediciones del Quijote 413. Ashbee 51. Río y Rico 453. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England, 5. Harthan, The History of the Illustrated Book, 153. Lowndes, 401.
Some faint marginal spotting to text, plates clean and fine; light rubbing to corners and spine ends. A handsomely rebacked, wide-margined copy of this illustrated classic.