Don Quixote, which came on sale at the beginning of 1605 in Francisco de Robles’s bookshop – in both Madrid and Valladolid, the seat of court since the previous year – was Miguel de Cervantes’s major publishing success. It was the triumph he was able to enjoy the most and on which he pinned new hopes for a different life, which were only realised on paper by his characters. Don Quixote is one of the best chivalric novels ever written.
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha was destined to become a bestseller. This was the dream of the bookseller Francisco de Robles, who applied for the licence and privilege, signed by Cervantes, to print the work. It was granted, and the second edition of Don Quixote began to be printed in April 1605, extending the privilege to Aragón and Portugal. Its success was only relative: copies of this second edition still lay unsold in Francisco de Robles’s bookshop when a later edition came out in 1608.
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