El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of la Mancha)

This very rare original edition of the first part of Cervantes’s great satirical novel was acquired by the Bodleian from Spain shortly after its publication. It is unlikely that Bodley’s book buyer, John Bill, would have recognized Don Quixote as a work of genius, or that Bodley would have countenanced the purchase of a work of vernacular literature, so the book’s presence in the Library is the result of good fortune rather than foresight. It was bound in vellum and took its place on the Library’s shelves, but its pristine condition suggests it was little read.