Don Quixote (in two volumes)

William T. Wiley

Don Quixote (in two volumes)


Artist's Book

10 6/16" x 7"


Arion Press

San Francisco, CA


$2,200 - $5,500

More Information

Don Quixote is considered to be the first modern novel and among the greatest works of literature in the world. It was published in two volumes, the first in 1605, the second in 1615. Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcala de Henares, Spain, on September 29, 1547. He enlisted in the Spanish militia at twenty-three and fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto in 1571, where he was wounded in his left hand and permanently crippled. After four years at sea he was captured by Barbary pirates and enslaved for five years. Cervantes began to write Don Quixote in debtor’s prison. During the ten-year interval between the two volumes, an imposter seeking to profit from pent-up demand wrote a sequel to Book I. Cervantes revenged this transgression in Book II, when Don Quixote visits a printing house in Barcelona where the pirated edition is being printed and he disparages it. A large broadside of this incident has been excerpted and printed on our handpress as a gift to all who order the Arion edition.

Don Quixote is printed by letterpress on an all-cotton fiber sheet made to our specifications for this project by Mead Specialty Papers, supplied by Legion Paper. The type is Centaur, designed by Bruce Rogers, composed and cast by Mackenzie & Harris. The size of the text type is large, 16 point, cast on a 14-point body, leaded two points, so that the effect is solid 16 point, producing a desirable weave to the page. The initial letters were drawn by Mallette Dean in 1963 for the Grabhorn Press, a set of capitals intended for use with Centaur type. The illustrations are printed in sepia, the type in black, and the initials in red-brown. The format is 10.375  by 7 inches, 576 pages for Book I, 632 pages for Book II. The binding is three-piece goatskin with dark brown for the spine with gold titling and tan for the sides, with a DQ monogram in gold, designed by Wiley, on the front cover. The sections are sewn by hand with hand-sewn headbands at top and bottom. The books are presented in slipcases, with tan cloth around the top, spine, and bottom, dark brown paper sides, and spine label. The books are numbered and signed by the artist. Price: $4,000 for the two volume set. Further information may be viewed here: