24 December 2022, 13:29

Sotheby's bought Cervantes' novel Don Quixote for half a million euros

Sotheby's bought Cervantes' novel Don Quixote for half a million euros
In December, Sotheby's sold the two-volume Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, published at the very beginning of the 17th century. The books that once belonged to the Bolivian diplomat Ortiz Linares went under the hammer for 504 thousand euros. In the 1930s, Linares, an avid lover of rare books, found two valuable editions in the Maggs Bros bookstore (London). Sotheby's consultant Jean-Baptiste de Prouart noted that the bibliophile was incredibly lucky with the acquisition, given the excellent condition of both volumes.
One of the books is the third edition of the first part of 1608, during the preparation of which Cervantes himself made corrections. This was the last time the author edited his famous novel before publication. The other book is the first edition of the second part, published in 1615. Some literary scholars believe that Cervantes took up writing the second part after a certain author, under a pseudonym, released his own version of the continuation of the novel, known as Don Quixote of Avellaneda.
Of particular note is the fact that both volumes have the same bindings: the books were updated in England at the end of the 17th century, when they were in the collection of politician Bailby Thompson. For more than 200 years, the two-volume book was kept in the Thompson family library until it ended up in the book Maggs Bros, and then to Linares.
Another lot that came into view at Sotheby's is a collection of short stories by the Spanish writer "Instructive Novels". The book is less well known than the story of the knight and his squire. In these works, Cervantes sets out his views on life, love, greed, and social order. "Instructive novels" sold for 403 thousand euros.

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