A highly entertaining comic novel, Don Quixote was published in two parts in 1605 and 1615. Nothing quite like it had been published before. Don Quixote, a poor nobleman from La Mancha in central Spain, has a passion for reading tales of chivalry, and is inspired to set off in search of adventure. To his fevered imagination, everyday objects seem to pose irresistible heroic challenges: the result is an extended and comic series of absurd exploits, which also
raise questions about reality and illusion, fact and fiction.
Don Quixote was Cervantes' belated but colossal literary success. It is a work which has achieved mythic status and is considered to have pioneered the modern novel. Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the horse, Rocinante, are now archetypal figures in the literature of the West. This celebrated translation by Charles Jarvis conveys the flavour of the original Spanish, and the new introduction and notes provide essential background information.