London : printed for A. Millar, over against Catherine-Street, in the Strand; T. Osborn, T. and T Longman, C. Hitch and L. Hawes, J. Hodges, and J. and J. Rivington, MDCCLV. (1755)
First Edition of the celebrated Smollett translation. Royal 4to (30cm); , xxviii, (404); , viii, 466, [iv]. Twenty-eight full page copper-plate engravings in total, each bright and sharp with no spotting or spoiling, just some occasional off-setting (mainly in v2); newly bound in full spotted calf with five raised bands dividing the spine into six compartments, spectacular gilt tooling to the spine and two morocco labels (one in dark red, the other in black); one old label stain to the top of the titlepage in v2 and a neat repair to text page 349/350 in v1. A handsome set of this keynote translation of Cervantes’ great lyrical work, complete with the closing Errata leaf in v2.
The history of Don Quixote in English and its influence on English literature in the 18th century could not be told without Smollett’s translation. It managed to capture the spirit of the Spanish original for English readers as well as becoming “the most readable version of Cervantes’ masterpiece in our language.” He issued a revised edition in 1761.