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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616) is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and admired as one of the world’s preeminent novelists. His best-known novel, Don Quixote, has been translated into over 140 languages and dialects, making it, after the Bible, the most translated book in the world.

Born in Spain, Cervantes was forced into exile in 1569 and relocated to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant to a Catholic cardinal. There he surrounded himself with Renaissance art, architecture and poetry – all influences that can be seen in his later work. In Rome, he enlisted as a soldier in the Spanish Navy and continued his duties until being captured by Barbary pirates in 1575. After five years in captivity, he was released on ransom and returned to his family in Madrid.

There is little doubt that Cervantes’ own adventures greatly inspired the intrepid quest of The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha or, more simply, Don Quixote. The two-part novel tells the adventures of nobleman Alonso Quixote, who loses his sanity after reading too many knightly romances and undertakes to revive a sense of chivalry in his country. The novel gives the original meaning to the term “quixotic” – Don Quixote’s quest is perhaps unrealistic and impractical, but admiringly idealistic.

Size: 40mm x 185mm

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