The 1.5 million dollar edition
Today I decided to write about a masterpiece of literature.
It is about The ingenious nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha that is mostly known only as the Quixote of La Mancha.
It is a universal icon and is recognized as the best literary work in history and it has also been said that it is the book that marks the “before” and “after” literature in Spanish because before this magnificent work, the books were written in a Spanish that was too cultured and difficult to digest (see the work of Lope De Vega for example), instead, The ingenious nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha was created in a Spanish that everyone could read and fully understand each page.
Even though it contains almost 23,000 different words, perfectly used.
In fact thanks to it, the Cervantinism was developed and exists. It is the current that was created in order to enhance the value and appreciation of the work of Cervantes.
It is one of the best selling books in history, it is estimated that around 500 million copies have been sold and it has been translated into 50 languages.
There are few books that have sold that many copies.
Some of those are The Odyssey, The Iliad, Romeo and Juliet, The Divine Comedy among other classics in literature.
Nevertheless I have to mention that the book who’s sales surpass all the previously mentioned is the red Book of Mao.
The reading of this book was mandatory, for political and philosophical divulgation reasons and other obligations that had nothing to do with (the pleasure of reading).
The Quixote, supposedly has sold more than six billion copies throughout the history.
Due to its high sales we can assume therefore that the book of Cervantes is also one of the most read in history alongside others like the Bible, the Koran, the mentioned book Red of Mao and one of my favorites that is also a Masterpiece, The Little Prince.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a tax collector and due to errors while performing his job, he was imprisoned and because life is sometimes strange, it was during this period of his life that he wrote this book.
He was completing each chapter full of life and freedom behind bars.
Equally his time spent in prison allowed for him to write two more books. Ironically, he knew how to make the most of his “free time”.
I must highlight that Cervantes was also known as “Lepanto’s Manco (one armed man)” for having lost his left hand on the battlefield defending Catholic Spain, which did not count for much because they still got him arrested.
About the book itself there are several curiosities, one of them that always struck me is that throughout history Sancho Panza has been known as an overweight character.
Cervantes never describes him as obese, he just mentions something like he was a character with a desire to eat but it was Gustave Doré that represented him as overweight in his illustrated engraves.
Now, the title of this article mentions the figure of a million and a half dollars and I will explain what this is about.
It was in 1605 that this book was published for the first time. Of that first batch, two very well preserved books survive today.
In 1989 one of these copies was sold for $ 1,500 million dollars.
Also the second part of the story that was called The ingenious knight Quixote of La Mancha in its original volume, was sold in 1991, for more than 10 million pesetas (little more than $ 103,000 dollars of the time).
The trouble with this whole affair is that Cervantes died and never received any benefit or great recognition for having written such literary prowess.