Monday, September 26, 2016

Fourth English edition of Don Quixote, 250 years old

250-year old English 
edition of Don Quixote

This fall we are offering a 4-volume set of The Life & Exploits of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra, translated by Charles Jarvis and published in 1766.

This is the 4th edition of "the Jarvis translation." The name is an immortalized misspelling; the translator was Charles Jervas, an early 18th century Irish portrait painter and translator. His 1742 translation of Don Quixote  was the definitive and most popular English translation through about 1885, and continues to be reprinted to this day.

Jervas is credited with was first to provide an preface to the novel. Being the fourth edition of his translation, the set we are offering at the fall sale includes this original preface, a supplement to the preface, and a life of the author.

An interesting side note: the first publisher listed, J. and R. Tonson in Strand, refers to booksellers and publishers Jacob and Richard Tonson. Jacob Tonson is notable for first publishing works by Milton and Dryden, and for the little coup of securing a copyright on the plays of William Shakespeare by buying up the rights from the heirs of the publisher of the Fourth Folio. Tonson also established the famous Kit-Cat Club. Not to be confused with the infamous Berlin nightclub, Tonson's circle of literary and political luminaries was committed to promoting the Whigs' principles -- and drinking toasts to the reigning beauties of the day. 

This wonderful set is bound in black quarter morocco with marbled boards, and gilt ornamentation on corners and spine. It is on display in the lobby and will go on sale on Sept. 29 at 3pm for $400.

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