An Early Shelton Translation of Cervantes

    Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The History of the Valorous and Witty Knight Errant, Don Quixote of the Mancha. Translated out of the Spanish; now newly Corrected and Amended. [with:] The Second Part of the History of...Don Quixote. [Translated by Thomas Shelton]. London: Printed for R. Scot, T. Basset, J. Wright, R. Chiswell, 1675, and [the second part] Printed by Richard Hodgkinson, 1672.

    Two small folio volumes in one. 274 pages. With woodcut devices on title pages, and several woodcut head-pieces and initials.

    Red full levant morocco, circa 1900, with gilt spine titles, and gilt-tooled in the art nouveau style with initials "FB" (for Fletcher Battershall) in a center lozenge on covers, gilt bat device with monogram "FB" on front lower turn-in, and decoratively gilt-tooled spine compartments with five raised bands. Gilt over all rough-cut edges. Edges, spine ends, and raised bands rubbed. Front joint slightly cracked at the spine ends. Even toning to the textblock, with occasional minor foxing and soiling. General title, next leaf, and last leaf with minor expert repairs to the fore-edge margins. Bookplates of Willis Vickery and the binders, Fletcher and Maude Battershall affixed to the front pastedown. Very good condition.

    Shelton was the first to translate Don Quixote into English in 1612, the second part in 1620. The Dictionary of National Biography sums up Shelton's Don Quixote as follows: "Though Shelton's translations bear many traces of haste, and he often seizes with curious effect the English word that is nearest the sound of the Spanish in defiance of its literal meaning, he reproduces in robust phraseology the spirit of his original, and realizes Cervantes's manner more nearly than any successor."

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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