Essays on the Periphery of the Quixote

Essays on the Periphery of the Quixote

Essays on the Periphery of the Quixote

Essays on the Periphery of the Quixote

Excerpt

The following essays deal for the most part with themes related indirectly to Miguel de Cervantes' grand and famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. Nevertheless, the reader will find each worthy of attention, I believe, in that each adds bits of information to that general storehouse of Cervantes inspired writings which one happily never finds overfull.

I beg the reader's indulgence for the repetitive nature of some of the material. The first five essays are interconnected, but each was written independently of the others, and so often one will note certain information repeated to provide background enough to present the theme in integral form. I trust there is enough variety and additional material on each such occasion as to allow acceptance and approval.

The five essays mentioned are the result of several years of research on the figure of Thomas Shelton, the relatively unknown first translator of Don Quixote, and on the beginnings of Quixote iconography. Shelton--whose Part I appeared in 1612, only a few years after the Madrid princeps of 1605--rendered his translation on behalf of a friend whose identity remains unknown. Several scholars have attempted to offer suggestions, and here in the first essay I offer my own--an unusual one--as I make a case for Thomas Lodge, a pre-Shakespearian poet, dramatist, and romancer, also relatively but undeservedly unknown. The first English translation of Don Quixote Part II, purportedly by Shelton, was published in London, 1620. In the second essay I declare not Shelton, the assumed author, but Leonard Digges as the most likely translator of that edition. Digges's only claim to fame is that he is one of the poets whose prefatory verses were included in the Shakespeare folio of 1623. The third essay deals with an unusual copy of the rare Shelton 1612 Quixote to which is bound the engraved frontispiece which . . .

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