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Don Quixote Cerv.336

Imagining Don Quixote

‘Imagining Don Quixote’, a free exhibition focusing on how Cervantes’ novel has been illustrated over time, opened in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery on 19 January and runs until 22 May. It explores how different approaches to illus

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One that got away. Daniel Urrabieta Vierge’s illustrations of Don Quixote (1906)

Curating an exhibition inevitably involves a process of selection or, better maybe, de-selection. Items are chosen to support a coherent narrative, but practical considerations inevitably supervene. The copy of a particular book may be in p


The challenge of translating Cervantes’s Don Quixote

‘Every great book demands to be translated once a century, to suit the change in standards and taste of new generations, which differ radically from those of the past’. So wrote the translator and biographer, J. M. Cohen, whose 1950 Penguin

Will Gompertz Don Quixote

The Cervantes Corpus

The jury is out about the question whether the remains exhumed in Madrid are those of Miguel de Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote (pronounced ‘QUICK sot’ in English).The BBC’s Will Gompertz (picture below from BBC i-Player) came to the Brit

Cosens Bookplate

Frederick Cosens, a forgotten Hispanist

Frederick William Cosens (1819-89) began his working life aged 17 when he joined the sherry firm of Pinto Pérez in London as an invoice clerk. It was the start of a highly successful business career. In 1848, he set up his own sherry export


The 'Shakespearomania' of Karl Marx

Karl Marx’s magnum opus Das Kapital (Hamburg, 1872; C.120.b.1.) may have a reputation as an exceedingly dry and difficult book (causing William Morris to suffer acute ‘agonies of confusion of the brain’ in his reading of the great critique

Spanish Photos (GW) BNE CharlesClifford1

Early Photography in Spain

The Spanish National Library in Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional de España; BNE) has mounted a small, but representative exhibition drawn from its photographic collections, entitled ‘Fotografía en España (1850-1870)’. In that period, demand for


Don Quixote as Napoleon: propaganda in Spain’s war of independence, II: the print.

The Mexico edition of Francisco Meseguer, El Don Quixote de ahora con el Sancho Panza de antaño, was published in 1809, after the Córdoba edition of the same year. It includes a the coloured fold-out cartoon apparently not present in the Sp

Tirant IB52043

A Catalan classic rediscovered

Tirant lo Blanc, the chivalric adventures of Sir Tirant the White, by Joanot Martorell and Joan Galba, was first printed in Valencia by Nicolaus Spindeler in 1490.The works with which it is most often compared are Amadis of Gaul and Don Qui

Aesop & Marcolph rotated

Straight man, funny man

The Latin Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf dates back to the 11th century. Solomon appears in his traditional guise of the sage, uttering dicta of impeccable orthodoxy and solemnity. The peasant Marcolf lowers the tone; he ripostes with eart