Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) is considered one of the most important writers of Spanish literature and World literature, with a prestige comparable to Shakespeare's (and interestingly they both died on April 23th, 1616). He greatly contributed to the creation of the modern novel
Cervantes's most famous work is undoubtedly "El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha" (The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha), which has become a classic of western literature and the second most sold book after the Bible (or so they said). Ten years after the first part was published in 1605, and one year before his death, Cervantes published a second volume of Don Quixote's adventures, mainly as a response to the publication of and apocryphal "second part" by someone else, which gives some idea of the success of the book at the time. Modern editions generaly include both volumes of Don Quixote.
Despite being today a "classic", with that aura of seriousness and scholarly importance particular to classics, Don Quixote was, and still is, basically a comical adventures novel, a parody of the books of chivalry. The plot weaves around and old gentleman who loses his wits from reading all those books about knights, princesses, giants, dragons and sorcerers and decides to become one of them and wander about seeking adventures, offenses to undo and troubles to straighten. Of course, the world around him is just the plain peasant Spanish society of the 17th century, who don't know about castles or princes and just want their horses back and their services paid... and they often mock and laugh at don Quixote and his simple-minded (but not so much as it seems at first) squire Sancho Panza.
Interestingly, we can see in the frontmatter content that exclussive right for printing and distributing the book was granted for 10 years (copyright) and the affair of the apocryphal second part is directly addressed in the second volume (derivative works), where the characters are fully aware of the publication of the first book about themselves.
I created this version from the annotated edition available at the Cervantes Virtual Library, although the notes are not included (they are not public domain, after all), but I advise the interested reader to read the prefaces and notes there. A note of warning: although the punctuation and orthography are somewhat adapted to modern uses, the language is still old-fashioned and many words and syntax would be considered incorrect today; the text is not difficult to understand for Spanish speakers, but those learning Spanish should be careful not to consider this as the "right way" of writing Spanish today.
The illustrations are the famous engravings by Gustave Doré, extracted from the Internet Archive scans, and are the main reason for the huge size of this ebook. I also added two maps at the end, marking the location of most places mentioned in the text. The .mobi file is split in two .rar parts
For systems not supporting large images, there's also a version with more compressed (lower quality) images, that's the "*SmIm.mobi" file.
Any kind of feedback is welcome.
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